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You are here:   animal list > Stichopus chloronotus




Stichopus chloronotus

Brandt, 1835


Rachel Hengst (2011)



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Image: Stichopus chloronotus on a sandy patch of the reef at Heron Island, Queensland. S. chloronotus is on the left, and on the the right is Holothuria atra.

         Stichopus chloronotus is a sea cucumber that can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific region on coral reefs (Clark and Rowe 1971). It can be identified by its prominent, orange-tipped papillae and dark green colour. S. chloronotus may host several species, some of which are considered parasitic (Trott 1970; Trott and Trott 1972; Britaev and Lyskin 2002). It is important on reefs for both turning over sediment and providing nutrients to microalgae (Uthicke 2001b). This species is also interesting, because it reproduces by both sexual and asexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction is accomplished by transverse fission and can result in highly skewed sex ratios within a population (Harriott 1980; Uthicke et al. 1999). S. chloronotus feeds by ingesting sediment and sorting the organic content from it (Uthicke 1999). This species suffers from little predation, as it is toxic to fish, but it can be eaten by gastropods and some other animals (Yamanouchi 1955; Parrish 1972).

         S. chloronotus belongs to the phylum Echinodermata and the family Aspidochirotida. It has the pentaradial symmetry of the echinoderms, but appears to be bilateral (Ruppert et al. 2004). Echinoderms, including S. chloronotus, are continually being studied due to their usefulness for medicinal and biotechnological purposes. While beche-de-mer fisheries are a general threat to sea cucumbers, there appears to be little threat to S. chloronotus specifically.

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