[Coral-List] White-spined Diadema antillarum (Esther Peters)

Amber McCammon amccammo at fau.edu
Tue May 20 22:24:21 EDT 2008

In reply to Chip: 

This is very common in the Virgin Islands.  I see all varieties, pure 
black, white - some with small black/grey specs on individual spines if 
you look close, salt and pepper to various degrees, and black with 
almost metalic royal blue coloration between spines and in the 
aboral/anus region.  

Amber McCammon
Graduate Student
Biological Sciences
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road 
Boca Raton, FL  33486
amccammo at fau.edu

Rex Chip Baumberger wrote:

>I recall seeing the occasional white-spined D. antillarum during the 
past 4 years of reef monitoring off of south Florida. With that in mind 
from recent posts here, I was diving off of Jupiter, Fl 5-15-08 at 
65-70' on Jupiter Ledge, and I saw a white spined Diadema.  However, as 
I got closer I noticed it was about 60% white spined and the rest 
normal black spines.  I wonder if anyone has noticed this in with the 
white-spined variety.  I have the GPS for it if anyone is interested, 
the site is locally known as "Scarface".
>Rex "Chip" Baumberger
>Biological Scientist, FAU
>Marine Nutrient Dynamics Dept.
>Marine Science Division
>Harbor Branch Oceanographic Inst.
>5600 US1 North
>Fort Pierce, FL 34946
>772-465-2400 x398
>-----Original Message-----
>From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov 
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>Subject: Coral-List Digest, Vol 59, Issue 18
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>Today's Topics:
>   1. Re: White-spined Diadema antillarum (Esther Peters)
>   2. Reef Restoration (Lee Goldman)
>   3. Re: Coral Reef Restoration (David Fisk)
>   4. photoshop trick for sat imagery (Dean Jacobson)
>   5. Re: Coral restoration (Medio, David)
>Message: 1
>Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 12:28:58 -0400
>From: Esther Peters <esther.peters at verizon.net>
>Subject: Re: [Coral-List] White-spined Diadema antillarum
>To: Gordon Hendler <hendler at nhm.org>
>Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Message-ID: <4830594A.4010304 at verizon.net>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>I recall seeing large white-spined /Diadema antillarum/ in shallow 
>at The Indians, rock outcroppings in the British Virgin Islands.  I was 
>pregnant then, so could only snorkel, in 1988.  I remember thinking 
>must not have been affected by the mass motality because they were so 
>large.  They might have been able to stay in the shade of the 
>If one does a Google Scholar search on these key words "sea urchin 
>melanin epidermis" one finds all kinds of interesting papers on and 
>references to melanin production in the epidermis and effects of light 
>and diet on pigmentation in these animals.  But more studies are needed!
>Esther Peters, Ph.D.
>George Mason University
>Gordon Hendler wrote:
>> According to Moore (1966:81) large Diadema antillarum with some or 
>> many
>> white or gray spines "...are found in darker and more turbid 
conditions and 
>> frequently in caves. In my experience, they seem to be more common in 
>> water around Caribbean reefs than at shallow depths. The spines of 
>> juveniles are always banded with black and white. Individuals change 
>> in response to the intensity of illumination. Animals that are black 
>> the day pale at night.
>> Hendler et al. 1995. Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, and Allies. Echinoderms 
>> Florida and the Caribbean. Smithsonian Institution Press. 390 pp.
>> Moore, H.B. Ecology of echinoids. In: Physiology of Echinodermata, ed. 
>> Boolootian, 73-85. John-Wiley Interscience. N.Y.
>> ********************************************
>> Gordon Hendler, Ph.D.
>> Curator of Echinoderms
>> Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
>> 900 Exposition Boulevard
>> Los Angeles, California 90007 U.S.A.
>> Voice:  213 763 3526
>> Fax:    213 746 2999
>> ********************************************
>> _______________________________________________
>> Coral-List mailing list
>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov 
>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>Message: 2
>Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 10:43:14 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Lee Goldman <coralfarmguam at yahoo.com>
>Subject: [Coral-List] Reef Restoration
>To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Message-ID: <86461.29273.qm at web33206.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>Hi List,
>  The discussion on reef restoration is another example of a great 
topic of interest for this list. My concern, however, is that it is 
reaching an audience that is not necessarily the right audience. Todd, 
your website (and your CNN interview) is filled with success stories in 
which you talk about positive reef restoration. In your postings here, 
you seem to understand that reefs cannot be restored to their original 
glory. I agree that something must be done, even if we can't make them 
what they were. BUT to the developers and polluters who ultimately 
cause need for this work, the message may be that we are successful in 
restoring reefs. Thus mitigating 'restoration' in exchange for 
development appears to be a commonplace and accepted. So the dilema, to 
me, is that as we get better  (or think we get better) at 'restoration' 
developers use that as a means to mitigate potential damage...and all 
along we agree, at least here in this like-minded and for lack of a 
better term,  'in-crowd' list-serve, that it really isn't as successful 
as we promote it to be to the general public (the audience that really 
needs to be a part of this discussion). If this is the theme of Don's 
postings, then I have to agree with him as well. Solutions to this 
issue? Not that I can find. We can't do nothing yet anything that is 
done is seen as a mitigating factor which falls well short of the 
ultimate goal. 
>  Lee Goldman
>  Coral Farm Guam
>  PO Box 6682
>  Tamuning, Guam 96931
>  671-646-6744
>  Coralfarmguam at yahoo.com
>Message: 3
>Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 23:09:12 +0200
>From: "David Fisk" <davefisk at gmail.com>
>Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral Reef Restoration
>To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Cc: MedioD at halcrow.com
>	<1dd51780805181409p2a8c963fx65cd87f283c93351 at mail.gmail.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252
>The pertinent point I think from David Medio's comments is that it is 
wrong to think that reef restoration can be used as an excuse to allow 
some developments to proceed - at all, or in a certain proposed manner. 
The argument that doing something (restoration) is better than doing 
nothing, usually does not stack up when it is used as an argument to 
accept a proposed development strategy. With the required sensitivity 
and developmental controls, some developments may result in minimal 
impacts, but the cost will usually be too prohibitive to be really 
effective for most developments.
>The true 'point of practicality' here is that restoration should not be 
be used as that offset, nor should any 'smart' engineering per se, as 
it's too easy to let serious impacts to go ahead when the current 
knowledge base clearly shows such 'offsets' will not deliver what it is 
promised. In previous posts I have said sufficient re the use of the 
same technologies to reverse larger scale disturbances including 
predicted climate change effects, but I still hear of proposals 
claiming to do just that. For example, a publicly available UN document 
dated April 2008 demonstrates how serious this situation has 
progressed, and that I am not making idle arguments. Here is a recent 
UN link to a UNDESA document called "Partnerships for Sustainable 
Develoment" which may very well lead to substantial funding for certain 
restoration projects: 
>In this web page the following statement is included (and note some of 
the extreme statements) : "SIDS (Small Island Developing States) 
fisheries, tourism industries, and protection from rising sea levels, 
increased tropical storm frequency and intensity are heavily dependent 
on healthy coral reefs?and these are the most climatically threatened 
of all ecosystems, due to global warming. SIDS have already lost most 
of their corals, and the rest are imminently endangered by rising 
global temperatures, and most daunting of all, low-lying island nations 
are threatened with extinction by submergence from global sea level 
>Further on under the heading: Additional Relevant Information - New 
Sustainable Development for SIDS - CORAL REEF AND FISHERIES HABITAT 
RESTORATION "New technology increases the growth rates of corals 
several times faster than normal, greatly increases survival of corals 
under conditions of extreme high temperature stress, and greatly 
increases the buildup of fish and shellfish populations. This allows 
reefs to be kept alive where they would die, and new reefs and 
fisheries habitat to be grown in a few years in places where they 
cannot recover naturally. Because reef fisheries are collapsing due to 
habitat destruction, control of fishing activities cannot restore 
fisheries without large-scale habitat restoration. This restoration 
process is powered using tidal, solar, and wind energy. "
>As this information is in the public domain it is imperative that the 
coral reef community is adequately informed of this as a means of 
placing this discussion in a contemporary framework. Again, I apologize 
if any individual is compromised by pointing out this trend - I am just 
the messenger, and am not targeting anyone in particular. But I think 
it is time that the wider coral reef community step up and insist on 
proper scientific review and do not let commercial interests within the 
scientific community drive this assessment of the allocation of 
critical development funding for SIDS in particular.
>David Fisk
>Message: 4
>Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 00:27:51 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Dean Jacobson <atolldino at yahoo.com>
>Subject: [Coral-List] photoshop trick for sat imagery
>To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>Cc: Don Hess <cmihess at gmail.com>
>Message-ID: <287849.35766.qm at web31803.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Hi listers:
>Today I "discovered" a useful way to filter satellite images using 
Photoshop to reveals relatively deep reefs (below 15 meters).  (I am 
fortunate to have access to 0.6 m Majuro atoll data for ArcMap). I am 
using Photoshop 6.
>Under "images", choose selective color, choose blue, then minimize the 
black slider.  Then choose black, and maximize black slider.  Another 
iteration may be needed.  Then, increase contrast and brightness.  To 
avoid blowing out the shallows and land, first save an extra image 
layer, make your adjustments, and then selectively erase the upper 
adjustment layer so the original pixels show through.
>The results were pretty remarkable; it was like having "X-ray 
vision"... well-defined deep reefs magically appeared out of the 
monotonous dark blue lagoon water.  This will work only if the stat 
image was taken an a calm day; a wave chop seems to obscure the deep 
>I discovered this just in time for my coral monitoring season! I can 
send some example jpgs upon request.
>Dean Jacobson, PhD
>College of the Marshall Islands
>Message: 5
>Date: Mon, 19 May 2008 09:17:42 +0100
>From: "Medio, David" <MedioD at halcrow.com>
>Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral restoration
>To: "Douglas Fenner" <dfenner at blueskynet.as>
>Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>	<A87990669172924FADCAABF1721CB6EC0878E991 at LOND-MX-01.halcrow.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"
> Doug
>apologies! It is indeed the Arabian Gulf (Persian to some) I am 
referring to!
>Dr David Medio
>Principal Environmental Scientist
>Halcrow Group Ltd, Arndale Centre, Otley Rd, Headingley, Leeds, LS6 
>tel: switchboard +44 (0)113 2208220, direct line: +44 (0)113 220 8253,
>mobile: +44 (0)773 919 0968
>fax: +44 (0)113 274 2924   email: mediod at halcrow.com
>Halcrow   Sustaining and improving the quality of people's lives 
>____ __
>P Please do not print this e-mail and attachments unless absolutely 
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Douglas Fenner [mailto:dfenner at blueskynet.as] 
>Sent: 18 May 2008 00:18
>To: Medio, David
>Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Coral restoration
>    Are you speaking of the Arbian/Persian Gulf?  I know its common to 
refer to it as the Gulf in that area.  The coral-list has many readers 
that are closer to the Gulf of Mexico, some near the Gulf of 
California, and so on. 
>Might be good to specify so no one is left wondering.  Thanks!  -Doug
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Medio, David" <MedioD at halcrow.com>
>To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 2:13 AM
>Subject: [Coral-List] Coral restoration
>>I am involved in a wide range of medium to very large coastal
>>some of which a priori are known to damage long established reefs in
>>Gulf. Whereas some of the recent artificial reef applications may well
>>had positive results, I am as rule very sceptical on the use of and
>>proliferaion as well as the political clout afforded artificial reef 
>> Firstly, can we really recreate a reef (as opposed to relocating
>> bits of a reef) in its complexity, function and extent?
>> Secondly, using man made reefs, if pushed to the limit, as is the case
>> many coastal and offshore developments in the Gulf, will amount
>> to giving a green light to using such as a tool to offset large levels
>> multi-layered damage to the marine environment, i.e. more than just
>> coral habitats.
>> Reefs in the Gulf are increasingly being described as far more
>> and pristine and species rich than previuosly thought whilst at the
>> coming under the greatest level of pressure ever experienced in the
>> region.
>> The answer for their conservation is cleverly designed engineering,
>> and well implemented mitigation measures and environmental management
>> plans, improved environmental educational and awareness and improved 
>> regulatory frameworks.
>> Dr David Medio
>> Principal Environmental Scientist
>> Halcrow Group Ltd, Arndale Centre, Otley Rd, Headingley, Leeds, LS6
>> UK
>> tel: switchboard +44 (0)113 2208220, direct line: +44 (0)113 220 8253,
>> mobile: +44 (0)773 919 0968
>> fax: +44 (0)113 274 2924   email: mediod at halcrow.com 
>> www.halcrow.com
>> Halcrow   Sustaining and improving the quality of people's lives
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