Heterocentrotus differs from Colobocentrotus in having massive pencil-like aboral spines and single large tubercles on aboral plates. Podophora is very similar but in Podophora aboral spines are flat-topped and fit together to form a tesselated outer protective surface. In Colobocentrotus the aboral spines are short and button like and not tesselated. In aspects of test morphology Colobocentrotus has multiple aboral ambulacral tubercles while Podophora has single tubercles to each plate. Colobocentrotus also has more numerous aboral interambulacral tubercles that are not arranged into regular rows whereas in Podophora the tubercles are fewer and in obvious rows. Mortensen (1943) maintained the two at subgenus level.
Members live on rocky shores exposed to extreme wave-surge. Their enormous adoral phyllodes are an adaption for life in this extreme habitat.
Brandt, J. F. von 1835 Prodr. Descr. Anim. Rec. Actes Acad. Imp. Sci. Petersburg , p. 266