Eucidaris tribuloides

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Slate pencil urchin
Eucidaris tribuloides (Slate-pencil Urchin).jpg
Slate pencil urchin on a brain coral
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Echinoidea
Subclass: Cidaroidea
Order: Cidaroida
Family: Cidaridae
Genus: Eucidaris
Species: E. tribuloides
Binomial name
Eucidaris tribuloides
(Lamarck, 1816)[1]
800px-range of pencil-slate urchin.png
Range of slate pencil urchin
Synonyms

Cidarites tribuloides, Lamarck 1816

Cidaris tribuloides

The slate pencil urchin, Eucidaris tribuloides, is a cidaroid sea urchin that inhabits littoral regions of the Atlantic Ocean. As a member of the basal echinoid order Cidaroida, its morphological, developmental and molecular genetic characteristics make it a phylogenetically interesting species.[2]

A specimen at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Taxonomy[edit]

Eucidaris tribuloides was first described and classified by Jean Baptiste Lamarck in 1816 as Cidarites tribuloides.[3]

Lamarck's original description of Cidarites tribuloides (Eucidaris tribuloides), ca. 1816.
A specimen dried for preservation.

The modern classification stems from the echinoid treatises by Pomel in 1883[4] and by Döderlein in 1887.[5]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

From the United States to Brazil on the west to Mauritania to Gabon on the east, the slate pencil urchin can be found on both sides of the Atlantic, at the mid-Atlantic ridge and throughout the Caribbean.[6] On the western side of the Atlantic, the slate pencil urchin has been found as far north as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina[7] and as far south as Rio de Janeiro.[8] In the Gulf of Mexico, populations have been reported at Alacran Reef, Campeche Bank.[9] On the eastern side of the Atlantic, a closely related sub-species, Eucidaris tribuloides var. africana, has been reported at Cape Verde Islands, in the Gulf of Guinea, and at the Azores and Ascension Islands.[10]

E. tribuloides has become an invasive species in some parts of the world including Maltese waters where it has been since 1998. This was the first record in the Mediterranean and is thought to have been brought there in ballast water. (M. Scibberas and P. J. Schembri, 2007)

McPherson[6] described E. tribuloides as a "sluggish echinoid" that leads a nocturnal, benthic existence. During daylight hours, the slate pencil urchin uses its large primary spines to anchor itself under or atop rocks or to lodge itself in crevices. Individuals rarely stray far from their locality.[6] At night, they will feed primarily on corals and sponges, among other things.[11]

Biology[edit]

When its development is contrasted to the cidaroid sister subclass Euechinoidea, E. tribuloides becomes a very interesting organism from the standpoint of developmental and evolutionary biology. In euechinoid embryonic development, e.g. in the purple sea urchin, the micromeres comprise a set of four small cells that reside at the base of the vegetal plate. They are a "precociously invaginating lineage", meaning that they move into the blastocoel just prior to gastrulation; these four cells then eventually give rise to the larval skeleton.[12][13][14] Similarly, E. tribuloides also possesses a larval skeleton that arises from a special lineage of cells. In contrast, however, the number and size of its micromeres can vary (from one to three), and they do not precociously invaginate; rather, they ingress during gastrulation and bud off from the tip of the growing archenteron.[2][15] Even though these morphological and chronological differences exist, the "spicule-forming cells" of E. tribuloides are indeed homologous to the well-behaved micromeres of euechinoids.[16]

Reproduction[edit]

Reproduction in E. tribuloides seems to be sensitive to both seasonal cycles and the lunar cycle. In the Florida Keys, E. tribuloides was found to obtain peak gravidity in the late summer and early fall.[6] Populations in Panama, however, were found to be gravid in the spring, summer and fall, with peak gravidity occurring around the full moon.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kroh, Andreas (2012). "Eucidaris tribuloides (Lamarck, 1816)". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 
  2. ^ a b Schroeder, TE (1981). "Development of a 'primitive' sea urchin (Eucidaris tribuloides): irregularities in the hyaline layer, micromeres, and primary mesenchyme". Biol. Bull. (Marine Biological Laboratory) 161 (1): 141–151. doi:10.2307/1541114. JSTOR 1541114. 
  3. ^ Lamarck J (1816). Histoire naturelle des animaux sans vertèbres, présentant les caractères généraux et particuliers de ces animaux, Tome 3. p. 56. 
  4. ^ Pomel NA (1883). Classification methodique et genera des echinides vivants et fossiles. p. 103. 
  5. ^ Döderlein LHP (1887). Die japanischen Seeigel, I. Familie Cidaridae und Saleniidae. Stuttgart. p. 42. 
  6. ^ a b c d McPherson, BF (1968). "Contributions to the biology of the sea urchin Eucidaris tribuloides (Lamarck)". Bulletin of Marine Science 18: 400–443. 
  7. ^ Cerame-Vivas, MJ and Gray IE (1966). "The distributional pattern of benthic invertebrates of the continental shelf off North Carolina". Ecology (Ecological Society of America) 47 (2): 260–270. doi:10.2307/1933773. JSTOR 1933773. 
  8. ^ Bernasconi I (1955). "Equinoideos y asteroideos de la coleccion del Instituto Oceanografico de la Universidad de San Pablo". Bolm Inst. Oceanogr., S. Paulo 6: 51–77. 
  9. ^ Kornicker, LS, Bonet F, Cann R, and Hoskin CM (1959). "Alacran Reef, Campeche Bank, Mexico". Publs. Inst. Mar. Sci. 6: 1–22. 
  10. ^ Mortensen, T (1928). A monograph of the Echinoidea 1, Cidaroides. Copenhagen: C.A. Reitzel. p. 551. 
  11. ^ Santos CP, Coutinho AB and Hajdu E (2002). "Spongivory by Eucidaris tribuloides from Salvador, Bahia (Echinodermata: Echinoidea)". J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 82 (2): 295–297. doi:10.1017/S0025315402005477. 
  12. ^ Boveri, T (1901a). Zool. Jb. Abt. Anat. Ont. 14: 630. 
  13. ^ Boveri, T (1901b). Verh. Phys. Med. Ges. Wuerzb. 34: 145. 
  14. ^ Hörstadius, S (1935). Pubbl. Stn. Zool., Napoli 14: 251. 
  15. ^ Tennent, DH (1914). "The early influence of the spermatozoan upon the characters of echinoid larvae". Carn. Inst. Wash. Publ. 182: 129–138. 
  16. ^ Wray GA and McClay DR (1988). "The origin of spicule-forming cells in a "primitive" sea urchin (Eucidaris tribuloides) which appears to lack primary mesenchyme cells". Development 103 (2): 305–315. PMID 3066611. 
  17. ^ Lessios H (1991). "Presence and absence of monthly reproductive rhythms among eight Caribbean echinoids off the coast of Panama". J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 153: 27–47. doi:10.1016/S0022-0981(05)80004-8.