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Systematics and ecology of the sea urchin genus centrostephanus echinodermata echinoidea from the atlantic and eastern pacific oceans

, : Systematics and ecology of the sea urchin genus centrostephanus echinodermata echinoidea from the atlantic and eastern pacific oceans. Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences (20): 1-15

Large populations of black Centrostephanus, superficially resembling Diadema antillarum Philippi were found along the shelf edge prominences off the east coast of Florida [USA] in depths of 48-80 m. Typical habitats are aggregations of dead coral rubble, with seasonal growths of leafy red algae. Some aspects of the biology of these echinoids are described. A single species of the genus is affirmed, C. longispinus (Philippi), occurring in the Atlantic Ocean. Western Atlantic populations can be referred to the subspecies C. l. rubicingulus H.L. Clark, which usually differ from the typical subspecies in possessing uniformly black spines rather than banded purple and yellowish white spines when fully grown. C. besnardi Bernasconi from Isla Trindade, Brazil, is synonymized with C. l. rubicingulus. C. coronatus (Verill) from California and the Galapagos Islands differs little from C. longispinus and the 2 spp. may yet prove to be subjective synonyms. There is some evidence to suggest that Gulf of California populations of C. coronatus differ from California populations at the subspecies level.

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