[Coral-List] White-spined Diadema antillarum

Esther Peters esther.peters at verizon.net
Sun May 18 12:28:58 EDT 2008

I recall seeing large white-spined /Diadema antillarum/ in shallow water 
at The Indians, rock outcroppings in the British Virgin Islands.  I was 
pregnant then, so could only snorkel, in 1988.  I remember thinking they 
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 outcroppings.

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 deep 
> water around Caribbean reefs than at shallow depths. The spines of 
> juveniles are always banded with black and white. Individuals change color 
> in response to the intensity of illumination. Animals that are black during 
> the day pale at night.
> Hendler et al. 1995. Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, and Allies. Echinoderms of 
> Florida and the Caribbean. Smithsonian Institution Press. 390 pp.
> Moore, H.B. Ecology of echinoids. In: Physiology of Echinodermata, ed. R.A. 
> 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

More information about the Coral-List mailing list