Relatively common throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region. In Australia recorded from around Exmouth in Western Australia, across the north of the continent, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to southern New South Wales.
Frequents rocky reef, loose sediments. Usually with a covering of detritus, depth from shallow subtidal zone to at least 125 m.
Slightly conical shape, test variable in colour from white through green, red and purple. Primary spines are pale whitish or green at the base darkening to purple or red at the extremity. Bottom photograph shows underside, spines around mouth often with white stripes. Grows to 100 mm across.
Identification thanks to Dr. Maria Byrne, FAA, Professor Marine and Developmental Biology, University of Sydney
Byrne, M. and O’Hara. T.D. (eds) (2017). Australian Echinoderms: Biology, Ecology and Evolution. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne and ABRS, Canberra, 612 pp. Pp.350, 383.
Davie, Peter. Wild Guide to Moreton Bay and Adjacent Coasts. Second Edition. Published by Queensland Museum. Vol 2, p.277.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=salmacis+belli. Accessed 29/11/2020.