Damage due to solar ultraviolet radiation in the brittlestar Ophioderma brevispinum (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea)
Many morphological, chemical, and behavioural characteristics of echinoderms have been implicated as defences against ultraviolet light, though no studies have investigated whether adult echinoderms are damaged by this form of radiation. This study tests whether the brittlestar Ophioderma brevispinum (Ophiuroidea: Echinodermata) is damaged by solar ultraviolet radiation. Specimens of O. brevispinum were exposed to sunlight at a field station on the North Carolina coast. After 4 d of exposure, 12 out of 13 animals were dead and the remaining animal was moderately damaged. The animals in the control treatment, protected by a UV-opaque filter, suffered almost no damage.
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