RWD is in US Territory!

James M. Cervino cnidaria at
Wed Sep 10 15:43:48 EDT 1997

Dear Listers,

I have just confirmed that Rapid Wasting Disease in in the US Virgin
Islands. With the help of Ginger Garrison of the USGS we tracked this
epizootic around the island of St. John.

Belt transets again show a clumpped distribution at about 35-40 feet.
Largest leasion was 14/4.1 inches. All RWD ws again on the same colony
w/Yellow Band (all morphs of Montestrea). Largest leasion of Yellow Band
was 26 inches /5in. along the side of M. faviolota  I have also see what I
think is RWD on Cavernosa, samples were collected and sent to Dr.Garriet
Smith . Photos were taken in detail of both YB and RWD.  Also to note I saw
and photographed YB on Cavernosa, these were round rings and half moon
rings along the side of the coral, however I did not see exposed skeleton
(compared to other sites) in the middle of the ring that is usually covered
w/fuzzy algae.

Yellow Band was not seen on the opp9site side of the island, and there was
only  2 sightings of RWD found in this area that is exposed to high diving
and snorklers population. There is however high inc. of White Plague on 3
different species, markings were made and data will be forwarded to Dr.
Laurie Richardson.( Laurie if you are getting this message please e-mail

The site that we saw high indices of RWD had no human development and no
signs of diver damage. However over abundance of dictiota and lobofera were
evident, also cyannobacteria growing inbetween dead corals.

Sea Fan Disease was affecting 99% of all fans see, evidence- deterioation
of holdfast and gall formation, along with patchy leasions within the
middle of the fan.

Other Diseases: Dark Spot, BBD, WBD, W. Plague, and CLD (coraline lethal
disease). Also one sighting of POX, important--- I only saw 2 Palmata at
the 4 sites studied within 3 days. I have been told by locals that the
Palmats have been wiped out. Mucus samples were taken, and whole samples
were taken and frozen.

Upon leaving the Virgin Islads a lecture and slide presentation was give to
Dr. Jim Battey and the University of the V. Islands for feedback and future

Thanks Coral Listers, James

James M. Cervino
Marine Biologist
Global Coral Reef Alliance
124-19 9th ave, College Point NY 11356
Phone/Fax 718-539-8155

More information about the Coral-list-old mailing list