[Coral-List] White spined Diadema

Barbara Whitman terramar at caribcable.com
Tue May 27 11:01:27 EDT 2008

Since this discussion I have been paying more attention to  Diadema.  The 
other day I snorkeled along the coast and saw white and black spined and 
black spined Diadema of various sizes in the same locations - depth, 
habitat, water clarity were all the same. The white spined ones were out in 
the sunlight as much as the black spined ones and vice versa.  I couldn't 
find any correlation between habitat and/or urchin size and spine color.  I 
also saw a couple with white, light purple-black and black spines.  The 
lighter spines just looked as if the black pigmentation was more dilute on 
those spines.

Barb Whitman

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Stuart P. Wynne" <Stuart.Wynne at gov.ai>
To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Monday, May 26, 2008 5:01 PM
Subject: [Coral-List] White spined Diadema

> Hi,
> I just wanted to say thanks to all those who replied to my question
> about white spined Diadema. It has been interesting to read your
> ideas/observations and also read the articles that some of you have sent
> me.
> For the record, I see the white adults everywhere, and it doesn't seem
> at all correlated to depth/light. Areas here that seem to be recovering
> somewhat from the famous mortality event seem to have more black
> individuals present, and areas that for whatever reason haven't yet
> recovered seem to be made up mostly of white individuals - many in less
> that a meter of bright sunlit water. I liked the idea that was mentioned
> about during the mortality event cave protection may have mitigated
> damage/predation to the white individuals that preferred to live in them
> - although we have few such caves here so that doesn't hold for us.
> Genetics and disease resistance seems likely to me, although neither of
> these areas are my speciality so please don't quote me on that......
> Stuart Wynne
> Marine Biologist
> Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources
> Anguilla
> Government of Anguilla
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