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Genus Holothuria

The genus Holothuria contains a large assemblage of most diverse sea cucumbers falling into many sub-groups, but all having tables (though sometimes rare) among the spicules and a robust calcareous ring. The subgroups are recognised as sub-genera (written in parentheses) and distinguished by the diversity and complexity of spicules. Species size ranges from small to very large. They are usually sausage-shaped, with thin to thick body wall and diverse colour patterns. Some species lie exposed, though most are more or less fugitive below rocks or buried. Most are found on reef flats, lagoons or shallow slopes, but some prefer deeper regions, soft sediments, sea-grasses or coastal regions.

A few species remain unassigned to a sub-genus. A small white holothurian, H. cumulus, with yellow tube feet has been found in northern reef waters below rocks of reef flats; it may be related to H. (Lessonothuna) pardalis. Another, H. conica, was described by Clark (1938) from a small purple-grey specimen with cream/white tentacles found near Darwin in sandy mud below a rock. Finally, H. dietrichi may be a form of (Mertensiothuria): it has not been recorded since originally described.

Subgenera/Species in this genus:

Holothuria (Acanthotrapeza) coluber Semper, 1868
Holothuria (Cystipus) rigida (Selenka, 1867)
Holothuria (Halodeima) atra Jaeger, 1833
Holothuria (Halodeima) edulis Lesson, 1830
Holothuria (Lessonothuria) pardalis Selenka, 1867
Holothuria (Lessonothuria) verrucosa Selenka, 1867
Holothuria (Mertensiothuria) fuscocinerea Jaeger, 1833
Holothuria (Mertensiothuria) leucospilota (Brandt, 1835)
Holothuria (Mertensiothuria) pervicax Selenka, 1867
Holothuria (Metriatyla) albiventer Semper, 1868
Holothuria (Metriatyla) martensii Semper, 1868
Holothuria (Metriatyla) ocellata (Jaeger, 1833)
Holothuria (Metriatyla) scabra Jaeger, 1833
Holothuria (Microthele) axiologa Clark, 1921
Holothuria (Microthele) nobilis (Selenka, 1867)
Holothuria (Platyperona) difficilis Semper, 1868
Holothuria (Selenkothuria) erinaceus Semper, 1868
Holothuria (Semperothuria) cinerascens (Brandt, 1835)
Holothuria (Stauropora) modesta Ludwig, 1874
Holothuria (Theelothuria) michaelseni Erwe, 1913
Holothuria (Theelothuria) notabilis Ludwig, 1874
Holothuria (Thymiosycia) arenicola Semper, 1868
Holothuria (Thymiosycia) hilla Lesson, 1830
Holothuria(Thymiosycia) impatiens (Forskål, 1775)

Genus Holothuria