Edible sea cucumber Holothuria edulis, copyright Ed Bierman.

Belongs within: Aspidochirotida.

Holothuria is a genus of sea cucumbers found primarily in coastal regions, particularly around coral reefs. Some species such as the edible sea cucumber H. edulis are eaten by humans.

Characters (from Rowe 1969): Tentacles 17–30, usually 20, pedicels and papillae variously arranged on the ventral and dorsal sides respectively; anal papillae variously developed or absent; body wall very variable; body form showing a wide range, vermiform, cylindrical or with ventral side distinctly flattened and sole-like, dorsally arched; size ranging from small to large, even massive, up to 450 (?600) mm long; calcareous ring more or less well developed, usually with radial plates two to three times as long as interradial plates, anterior margin of ring rarely scalloped, posterior margin usually undulating; spicules very diverse and variously developed, tables usually present.

<==Holothuria Linnaeus 1758L58
    |--H. (Halodeima)MG-H11
    |    |--H. (H.) edulis Lesson 1830MG-H11, BM09
    |    |--‘Halodeima’ insignisFE66
    |    `--H. (H.) nigralutea O’Loughlin in O’Loughlin et al. 2007MG-H11
    `--H. (Panningothuria) austrinabassa O’Loughlin in O’Loughlin et al. 2007MG-H11
Holothuria incertae sedis:
  H. atra Jaeger 1833BM09
  H. caudata Linnaeus 1758L58
  H. cucumer Risso 1826R26
  H. denudata Linnaeus 1758L58
  H. difficilis Semper 1868BM09
  H. floridanaD49
  H. forskaliD49 [incl. H. nigraBK77]
  H. fuscogilva Cherbonnier 1980BM09
  H. glaberrima Risso 1826R26
  H. helleriBK77
  H. hilla Lesson 1830BM09
  H. impatiens (Forskål 1775)BM09
  H. inhabilis Selenka 1867BM09
  H. leucospilota (Brandt 1835)BM09
  H. littoralis Risso 1826R26
  H. mamillata Risso 1826R26
  H. olivacea Ludwig 1888BM09
  H. ovata Risso 1826R26
  H. pardalis Selenka 1867BM09
  H. parvula [=Actinopyga parvula; incl. H. captiva]D49
  H. pervicax Selenka 1867BM09
  H. poliiHK02
  H. punctata Risso 1826R26
  H. remollescens Lampert 1885BM09
  H. sanguinolentaD49
  H. stellata Risso 1826R26
  H. surinamensisD49
  H. thalia Linnaeus 1758L58
  H. tubulosaD49
  H. umbrinaFE66
  H. whitmaei (Selenka 1867)BM09

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BK77] Barel, C. D. N., & P. G. N. Kramers. 1977. A survey of the echinoderm associates of the north-east Atlantic area. Zoologische Verhandelingen 156: 1–159.

[BM09] Bryce, C., & L. Marsh. 2009. Echinodermata (Asteroidea, Echinoidea and Holothuroidea) of Mermaid (Rowley Shoals), Scott and Seringapatam Reefs, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 77: 209–220.

[D49] Dawbin, W. H. 1949. Auto-evisceration and the regeneration of viscera in the holothurian Stichopus mollis Hutton. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 77 (4): 497–523.

[FE66] Frizzell, D. L., & H. Exline. 1966. Holothuroidea—fossil record. In: Moore, R. C. (ed.) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt U. Echinodermata 3 vol. 2 pp. U646–U672. The Geological Society of America, Inc., and The University of Kansas Press.

[HK02] Haug, T., A. K. Kjuul, O. B. Styrvold, E. Sandsdalen, Ø. M. Olsen & K. Stensvåg. 2002. Antibacterial activity in Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis (Echinoidea), Cucumaria frondosa (Holothuroidea), and Asterias rubens (Asteroidea). Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 81: 94–102.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[MG-H11] McEnnulty, F. R., K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, A. Williams, F. Althaus, J. Fromont, G. C. B. Poore, T. D. O’Hara, L. Marsh, P. Kott, S. Slack-Smith, P. Alderslade & M. V. Kitahara. 2011. The deepwater megabenthic invertebrates on the western continental margin of Australia (100–1100 m depths): composition, distribution and novelty. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 80: 1–191.

[R26] Risso, A. 1826. Histoire naturelle des principales productions de l’Europe méridionale et particulièrement de celles des environs de Nice et des Alpes maritimes vol. 5. F.-G. Levrault: Paris.

Rowe, F. W. E. 1969. A review of the family Holothuriidae (Holothuroidea: Aspidochirotida). Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Zoology) 18 (4): 119–170.

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