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Sea Urchins and Sand Dollars: Echinoidea - Six Keyhole Sand Dollar (leodia Sexiesperforata): Species Accounts

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SIX KEYHOLE SAND DOLLAR (Leodia sexiesperforata): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

Physical characteristics: Six keyhole sand dollars are thin, flat disks with six slot-like holes and a five-way petal-like pattern of tube feet on the top side. They are about 4 inches (10 centimeters) across and are yellow to light brown.


Geographic range: Six keyhole sand dollars live along the east coast of North and South America from North Carolina to Uruguay.

Six keyhole sand dollars burrow several inches (centimeters) straight down into the sand. They use mucus strands to collect food. (Andrew J. Martinez/Photo Researchers, Inc.)

Habitat: Six keyhole sand dollars live in open sandy areas clear of algae.


Diet: Six keyhole sand dollars eat algae and waste particles.


Behavior and reproduction: Six keyhole sand dollars burrow several inches (centimeters) straight down into the sand. They use mucus strands to collect food. Six keyhole sand dollars release eggs and sperm during the rainy season between late summer and autumn.


Six keyhole sand dollars and people: Six keyhole sand dollars are prized by beachcombers and collectors.


Conservation status: Six keyhole sand dollars are not considered threatened or endangered. ∎

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