Postmetamorphic growth and metabolism of long-spined black sea urchin (Diadema antillarum) reared in the laboratory

Nasseer Idrisi, Thomas R. Capo, Joseph E. Serafy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Postmetamorphic growth and metabolism measurements were obtained on two cohorts of laboratory-reared Diadema antillarum. The cohorts grew linearly from less than 1 mm to over 43 mm. Daily growth averaged 0.097 and 0.11 mm d-1, respectively, for the two cohorts, and was found to differ significantly. Urchin metabolism was examined by a series of simultaneous measurements of oxygen consumption and ammonium excretion over 16 days on starved juveniles ranging 16.5 to 18.3 mm. Metabolic activity under conditions of starvation was used as a test of the viability of urchins reared in the laboratory with cultured food resources. Catabolic activity differed from the first week of starvation compared to the second. Metabolic response included: (1) a 2.2-fold increase in oxygen consumption rate; (2) 50% decline in ammonium excretion rate; and (3) a 5.1-fold increase in oxygen to nitrogen ratio. These measurements are consistent with a shift from almost pure protein catabolism during the first seven days of starvation to a lipid:protein catabolic ratio of 1:1 after the first week. Growth and metabolism experiments of this type are seen as a first step towards optimizing laboratory culture techniques of this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalMarine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Aquaculture
  • Diadema antillarum
  • Metabolism
  • Postmetamorphic growth
  • Sea urchin
  • Starvation test
  • Threatened species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography


Dive into the research topics of 'Postmetamorphic growth and metabolism of long-spined black sea urchin (Diadema antillarum) reared in the laboratory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this