It can be distinguished from the edible sea urchin because it is flatter, always black with thinner spines and its tube feet do not have any suckers. Unlike the purple sea urchin, it cannot right itself if it is turned on its back. The test can be 5 to 6cm with spines that are 3cm long. It is a grazing herbivore and is not edible. It is found all over the Western Mediterranean, in the Adriatic and Aegean Seas and from Gibraltar to Senegal in the Atlantic. It lives on rocky bottoms down to 50m deep.
Scientific name: Arbacia lixula
French: Oursin noir
Spanish: Erizo negro
Italian: Riccio nero
German: Schwarzer Seeige