Diadema clarification

Shelley Anthony santhony at mail.utexas.edu
Mon Nov 13 17:40:08 EST 1995

Hello again.  Thanks to those of you who sent helpful comments on Diadema 
spawning.  However, due to the specific nature of many of the responses I 
received, I think my message was misunderstood.  Let me clarify.  Judy Lang 
and I are interested in the culturing of, and potential reintroduction of, 
Diadema antillarum for the purpose of reef restoration ecology.  At our 
study sites in the Bahamas (where the length of the spawning season has not 
been established) they are only moderately common, so we have been 
reluctant to test animals for reproductive maturity using the usual KCl 
injection method.  Trying to predict when or for how long the urchins will 
spawn here is not necessarily a simple matter of following the lunar cycle. 
Spawning seasonality has been found to vary greatly throughout the range 
of Diadema, possibly related to other factors such as changes in water 
temperature or salinity (especially in higher latitudes where these factors 
are not as constant year-round). 

So basically, all I was asking was, "I saw a Diadema spawn in late October 
in the Great Exuma/central Bahamian area.  Has anyone else seen any 
spawning naturally (or upon handling) recently--particularly in the 
northern part of the Caribbean?" 

I apologize for the miscommunication. 


Shelley L. Anthony 

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