Edible sea cucumber Holothuria edulis

Identity card

Edible sea cucumber

Scientific name:
Holothuria edulis
Family:
Holothuridae
Class:
Holothuroidea
Phylum:
Echinodermata
Year of description:
Lesson, 1830
IUCN Status:
Least Concern
CITES-status:

Not Evaluated

Distribution:

It is found in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Habitat:

It lives on the sand, on rocks and in coral reefs.

Size:

The edible sea cucumber measures between 20 and 30 cm and can grow to 35 cm.

Diet:

Detritivore

Edible sea cucumber Holothuria edulis
 

When threatened, the sea cucumber expels protective organs called Cuvierian tubes.

They swell when they come into contact with water, forming a protective mucus and thus trapping the predator.

did you know?

Biomimicry: the sea cucumber's ability to become softer or stiffer depending on the environment has led to the creation of flexible microelectrodes to be implanted in the brain for more effective treatment.

Where is the animal to be found?

It lives on the sand, on rocks and in coral reefs.

How can it be recognised?

The edible sea cucumber measures between 20 and 30 cm and can grow to 35 cm.

What is distinctive about it?

Sea cucumbers sometimes host tiny crustaceans that attach themselves to their surface or small fish in their body cavity. These tiny animals use the sea cucumber as a shelter: this is a purely space-related requirement. This phenomenon is known as "inquilinism".

Sea cucumbers can change their appearance using mimicry techniques.

Threat and protective measure

The edible sea cucumber is one of the most popular edible species in Asia. It is a very high-protein food. To ease their overfishing, sea cucumber farms have been introduced.

Where can I find it at Nausicaá?

mankind and shores

Edible sea cucumber Holothuria edulis

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