The variegated sea urchin, Lytechinus variegates, is the latest reef aquarium invertebrate to get the captive breeding treatment from Oceans Reefs & Aquariums. When ORA announces new captive bred fare, it’s usually on the order of a new fish species or morph, or a new coral strain. Even if ORA only infrequently breeds new invertebrate species, ORA is proud to point out that this is the 85th species of marine life that they have successfully captive bred.
The variegated sea urchin makes a fine grazer of green hair algae and following the successful rearing of some incidental spawns, ORA succeeded in raising enough urchins to consider them for the marine aquarium hobby. ORA is uncertain how fast the variegated urchin will grow, or whether they will be prolific enough to become a commercially viable species. In the future we may see this drab but otherwise interesting invertebrate cruising nano to large reef tanks alike, which may in itself increase the awareness of sea urchins as a great aquarium animal. Full story of ORA’s first spawning of Lytechinus variegates with additional development pictures at the source link.