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Gad-Zooks Cukes!

Sea Cucumbers: Not A Pretty Picture, Part II

 

By Bob Fenner

 

Genus Holothuria

Holothuria arenicola (Semper 1868), the Sand Sea Cucumber. Circumtropical, found under rocks, intertidal to thirty meters. Can be white, golden to light brown. With two rows of darkish dots on its dorsum. A good choice for aquariums as it does not eviscerate or produce Cuvierian tubules. Galapagos pic.

Holothuria atra Jager 1833, the Black Sea Cucumber. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea to Hawai'i. Detritivore often found in shallows, close to shore. General detritivore. To two feet in length. This one in Hawai'i.

Holothuria edulis Lesson 1830, the Edible Sea Cucumber.  Indo-Pacific including Hawai'i. Skin soft, pink underneath, blackish above. Found in shallows, close to shore. General detritivore. To eight inches in length. One in Fiji, another in captivity. Edible but not considered delicious. 

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Holothuria fuscocinerea (Jaeger 1833). Distinctive elevated papillae with black centers. Southern Mexico to the Galapagos Islands, and Hawaii east to Africa. To a foot in length. Out during both day and night, rarely contracts when handled. Galapagos pic.

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Holothuria hilla Lesson 1830, the Light-Spotted Sea Cucumber. Found partly exposed at night times in rocky and sandy settings. Indo-Pacific. Hawai'i pic. 

Holothuria mexicana (Ludwig 1875), the Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber. Tropical West Atlantic. Detritivorous. Found singly on grass and sandy beds. To twenty inches in length. This one in Belize. 

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Holothuria thomasi (Pearson 1914), the Tiger Tail Sea Cucumber. Tropical West Atlantic, in holes, crevices, beneath rocks. Can move quickly. To two meters in length... stretched out. This one in the Bahamas. 

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Holothuria whitmaei Bell 1887, the Teated Sea Cucumber. Indo-Pacific. To one foot plus. Hard black bodied with light sand coating stuck to the outside. Called the "Mammy Fish" for its nipple-like "feet". Prized for the consumption of the outer body-wall as "beche de mer". This "loli" in Hawaii.

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Genus Isostichopus:
Isostichopus badionotus: Three-Rowed Sea Cucumber. Light to dark brown with yellow to red spots on podia on the body. Cozumel 2016.

Isostichopus fuscus: Brown Sea Cucumber.... here in Puerto Vallarta 2015... endangered; though our explant ROC neighbors dry and sell them....


Genus Neothyonidium:
Neothyonidium magnum Ludwig 1882. Usually only the tentacular crown of this species shows, the rest being buried in the soft substrate... Neat to watch it feed as it "licks" food one "stem" at a time... N. Sulawesi pix. 


Genus Opheodesoma:

Opheodesoma sp., the Alabaster Worm Cucumber. Indian Ocean. Only recorded from the Maldives. Nocturnal, hides by day. To eight inches in length. Detritivore. 

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