The Echinoid Directory

Biology and geological history


There are just two living species, both belonging to the genus Micropyga, in this family. These are found in the Indo-Pacific in water depths from about 150 m to more than 1300 m. Little is known about their biology other than that they are presumably epifaunal, like all regular echinoids. The specialized umbrella-like aboral tube-feet may be used to capture organic detritus that rains down to the sea-floor. Their gut contents suggest that they may be primarily herbivores, since plant and algal remains are commonly found.

Its larval development is unknown.

Geological history
It seems fairly certain from the close similarity of ambulacral plating, spines structure and general form, that Kierechinus from the Early Eocene of Somalia, is a Micropygidae. No other fossil representatives can be assigned. The peculiar tube-feet and distinctive ambulacral plating suggest that Micropygids probably have a long geological history stretching well back into the Mesozoic.