Overview

Brief Summary

Fossil species

recent & fossil

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Distribution

Virginian, southside of Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Geographic Range

Arbacia punctulata is a common urchin from Cape Cod to the West Indies.

Biogeographic Regions: atlantic ocean (Native )

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In Panama this species has been collected from Margarita Island, Limon Bay (USNM E 4872), Canal Zone, Caribbean Sea.

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Source: The Echinoderms of Panama

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Purple sea urchins, like all sea urchins, are the porcupines of the sea. They have long spines in order to deter predators. Even the name, Sea Urchin, comes from the Old English term for spiny hedgehog. The Arbacia punctulata has a deep purple color all over the spines and body (test). Their body area, called a test, can grow to a diameter of 3-5 cm. This test is made up of ten fused plates that encircle the urchin. Each of these fused plates has small holes from which the feet extend. These feet are controlled by an internal water vascular system. This sytem works by varing the amount of water inside which regulates if the feet are extended or contracted. Sea urchins also have a unique structure called Aristotle's lantern. This structure is made of five hard plates that move together like a beak. They use this beak like structure to scrape rocks clean of algae. These 'teeth' can also grow back after too much wear. They have a mouth at the underside and an anus at the top of the animal. In addition, they are radially symmetrical.

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Diagnostic Description

References and links

Mortensen, T. (1935). A monograph of the Echinoidea 2. Bothriocidaroida, Meonechinoida, Lepidocentroida and Stiridonta. Copenhagen. 647 pp. 377 figures, 89 pls; pages: 573-575.

Barcode of Life

GenBank

The Echinoid Directory

World Echinoidea Database

LSID urn:lsid:marinespecies.org:taxname:158058


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Source: The Echinoderms of Panama

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Synonymised taxa

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Source: The Echinoderms of Panama

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Ecology

Habitat

These purple sea urchins are found most commonly on rocks and shells in somewhat deep salt water. They prefer to live on rocks or shell bottoms from the low-tide line to a water depth of about 750 feet (229 meters).

Aquatic Biomes: benthic ; reef

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Depth range based on 648 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 301 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.1 - 307
  Temperature range (°C): 8.918 - 26.849
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.325 - 7.566
  Salinity (PPS): 33.723 - 36.454
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.383 - 5.861
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.071 - 0.709
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 4.515

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.1 - 307

Temperature range (°C): 8.918 - 26.849

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.325 - 7.566

Salinity (PPS): 33.723 - 36.454

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.383 - 5.861

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.071 - 0.709

Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 4.515
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Sea urchins graze on algae and other organisms that grow on the rocks around them, using their Aristotle's lantern.

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

There are male and female purple urchins. The females can release as many as several million eggs at a time. These eggs settle and the sperm released from the males swims and finds the eggs, fertilizes them and creates a large gamete. The larvae that hatches is bilaterally symmetrical, and changes to radial symmetry after it grows.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Arbacia punctulata

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Arbacia punctulata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

The purple sea urchin, Arbacia punctulata, has been thriving in waters across the world for years and hopefully will continue to. At this time their main enemy is pollution.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Spines may be poisonous, but only dangerous if stepped on or handled roughly.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Almost all sea urchin species are harvested for food and for their shells. Their eggs are a delicacy in many countries. They are also common laboratory species used for studying reproduction and development.

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Wikipedia

Arbacia punctulata

Arbacia punctulata is a species of Arbacia genus of purple-spined sea urchins. Its natural habitat is in the Western Atlantic Ocean. Arbacia punctulata can be found in shallow water from Massachusetts to Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula, from Texas to Florida in the Gulf of Mexico, the coast from Panama to French Guiana and in the Lesser Antilles, usually on rocky, sandy, or shelly bottoms.[1]

A. punctulata is omnivorous, consuming a wide variety of preys[2] although Karlson[3] classified it as a generalized carnivore. It has been shown that it is galactolipids, rather than phlorotannins, that act as herbivore deterrents in Fucus vesiculosus against A. punctulata.[4]

For more than a century, developmental biologists have valued the sea urchin as an experimental model organism. Sea urchin eggs are transparent and can be manipulated easily in the research laboratory. Their eggs can be easily fertilized and then develop rapidly and synchronously.[5][6]

For decades, the sea urchin embryo has been used to establish the chromosome theory of heredity, the description of centrosomes, parthenogenesis, and fertilization.[7][8][9] Research work during the last 30 years established such important phenomena as stable mRNA and translational control, isolation and characterization of the mitotic apparatus, and the realization that the major structural proteins of the mitotic apparatus are microtubules.[10][11] Sea urchin studies provided the first evidence of actin in non-muscle cells.[12][13]

Arbacia punctulata is also a model organism of marine sediments toxicity[14][15] and sperm study.[16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Serafy, D. K., 1979: Echinoids (Echinodermata: Echinoidea). Mem. Hourglass Cruises, 5: 1 – 120.
  2. ^ Sharp, D. T. & I. E. Gray, 1962: Studies on factors affecting the local distribution of two sea urchins, Arbacia punctulata and Lytechinus variegatus. Ecology, 43: 309 – 313.
  3. ^ Karlson, R., 1978: Predation and space utilization patterns in a marine epifaunal community. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 31: 225 – 239.
  4. ^ Galactolipids rather than phlorotannins as herbivore deterrents in the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus. Michael S. Deal, Mark E. Hay, Dean Wilson and William Fenical, Oecologia, June 2003, Volume 136, Issue 1, pages 107-114, doi:10.1007/s00442-003-1242-3
  5. ^ RULON O (December 1947). "The modification of developmental patterns in Arbacia eggs with malonic acid". Anat. Rec. 99 (4): 652. PMID 18895450. 
  6. ^ Kanungo J (June 2002). "Prolonged incubation in seawater induces a DNA-dependent protein phosphorylation activity in Arbacia punctulata eggs". Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 294 (3): 667–71. doi:10.1016/S0006-291X(02)00539-9. PMID 12056821. 
  7. ^ FAILLA PM (June 1965). "RECOVERY FROM DIVISION DELAY IN IRRADIATED GAMETES OF ARBACIA PUNCTULATA". Radiat. Res. 25 (2): 331–40. doi:10.2307/3571975. JSTOR 3571975. PMID 14295124. 
  8. ^ Sachs MI, Anderson E (October 1970). "A cytological study of artificial parthenogenesis in the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata". J. Cell Biol. 47 (1): 140–58. doi:10.1083/jcb.47.1.140. PMC 2108410. PMID 4327513. 
  9. ^ Kite GL (October 1912). "THE NATURE OF THE FERTILIZATION MEMBRANE OF THE EGG OF THE SEA URCHIN (ARBACIA PUNCTULATA)". Science 36 (930): 562–564. doi:10.1126/science.36.930.562-a. PMID 17812420. 
  10. ^ ZIMMERMAN AM, MARSLAND D (July 1964). "CELL DIVISION: EFFECTS OF PRESSURE ON THE MITOTIC MECHANISMS OF MARINE EGGS (ARBACIA PUNCTULATA)". Exp. Cell Res. 35 (2): 293–302. doi:10.1016/0014-4827(64)90096-5. PMID 14195437. 
  11. ^ SCOTT A (October 1950). "A cytological analysis of the effects of cyanide and 4,6-dinitro-orthocresol on the mitotic phases in Arbacia punctulata". Biol. Bull. 99 (2): 362–3. PMID 14791535. 
  12. ^ Henson JH, Schatten G (1983). "Calcium regulation of the actin-mediated cytoskeletal transformation of sea urchin coelomocytes". Cell Motil. 3 (5-6): 525–34. doi:10.1002/cm.970030519. PMID 6420068. 
  13. ^ Kabat-Zinn J, Singer RH (April 1981). "Sea urchin tube feet: unique structures that allow a cytological and molecular approach to the study of actin and its gene expression". J. Cell Biol. 89 (1): 109–14. doi:10.1083/jcb.89.1.109. PMC 2111775. PMID 6894447. 
  14. ^ Jäntschi L, Bolboaca SD (2008). "A structural modelling study on marine sediments toxicity". Mar Drugs 6 (2): 372–88. doi:10.3390/md20080017. PMC 2525494. PMID 18728732. 
  15. ^ Rudolph A, Medina P, Urrutia C, Ahumada R (July 2008). "Ecotoxicological sediment evaluations in marine aquaculture areas of Chile". Environ Monit Assess 155 (1-4): 419–29. doi:10.1007/s10661-008-0444-x. PMID 18633720. 
  16. ^ Lillie FR (March 1915). "The Fertilizing Power of Sperm Dilutions of Arbacia". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1 (3): 156–60. doi:10.1073/pnas.1.3.156. PMC 1090763. PMID 16575966. 
  17. ^ Inamdar MV, Kim T, Chung YK, Was AM, Xiang X, Wang CW, Takayama S, Lastoskie CM, Thomas FI, Sastry AM (November 2007). "Assessment of sperm chemokinesis with exposure to jelly coats of sea urchin eggs and resact: a microfluidic experiment and numerical study". J. Exp. Biol. 210 (Pt 21): 3805–20. doi:10.1242/jeb.005439. PMID 17951422. 
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