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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is widespread in the Indo Pacific, excluding the Persian Gulf and Hawaii. It occurs from east Africa (Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya Tanzania) to India, and Australia and Indonesia in the Indian Ocean, north to China and Japan, and east to Guam, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa in the Pacific. In Madagascar, populations are observed in the west coast from Beheloka to Nosy-be.
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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Description

Also recorded in Sandwich Is. (Selenka, 1867); Australia in Kalk (1958) and Rowe & Gates (1995); Maldive area, Ceylon, Bay of Bengal, East Indies, north Australia, Philippine, China, south Japan, South Pacific Is. and Hawaiian Is. (Clark & Rowe, 1971); India (Sastry, 1996). Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific in Kalk (1958), excluding the Persian Gulf and Hawaii (Conand, 1998); tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific Ocean, depth range 0-20 m. (Clark & Rowe, 1971). Ecology: benthic, inshore, detritus feeder, deposit feeder (Rowe & Gates, 1995). Habitat: sand or rock (Thandar, 1987).
  • Clark, A.M. and F.W.E. Rowe. (1971). Monograph of Shallow-water Indo-West Pacific Echinoderms. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History): London. x + 238 p. + 30 pls.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology

This is a reef species mostly found in shallow areas from near the surface to a depth of 15 m. It generally occurs on back reef hollows, reef flats and upper slopes (Conand and Mangion 2002). In the Western Central Pacific, this species prefers reef flats and upper slopes, generally on hard substrates between 0 and 15 m (Kinch et al. 2008). In Malaysian reefs, it prefers areas with boulders mixed with live corals (Choo 2008). In Africa and the Indian Ocean region, this species prefers reef flats over rubble between 0 and 5 m (Conand 2008). In Northern Australia, it has been found in patches of sand among coral rubble within the inner-reef lagoon. Higher densities of this species were found in sheltered areas of coral rubble (Shiell 2004). In China (Li 2004) it is found in deeper water (40 to 60 m). In Comores, it can be found at medium depth over rocky reefs and sandy zones among seagrasses (Samyn et al. 2006).

In the Great Barrier Reef, reproduction occurs in January, April, November and December. It may reproduce by fission under natural circumstances during the cool season, which may have handicapped gene-flow in the Great Barrier Reef (Kinch et al. 2008). In Réunion, it has two spawning seasons, similar to other populations previously studied on the Great Barrier Reef (Conand 2008).

Juveniles are known to settle in reef flat zones and later migrate to other areas (Kinch et al. 2008). The species grows about 70-80 g per year and their growth slows down once the animal becomes large (Purcell 2010).

This species is host to the pearlfishes Carapus mourlani, C. homei and C. boraborensis (Eeckhaut 2004).

The length frequency distribution for this species shows that there are few observed juvenile individuals among adults (Eriksson 2006). This may infer evidence for slow recruitment, as has been suggested for other species (Uthicke and Benzie 2000).

This species can reproduce asexually by transverse fission of the body, and can therefore be propagated.

Systems
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 649 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 642 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 79
  Temperature range (°C): 24.091 - 28.770
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.033 - 0.895
  Salinity (PPS): 33.032 - 35.464
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.447 - 4.932
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.067 - 0.238
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.005 - 4.493

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 79

Temperature range (°C): 24.091 - 28.770

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.033 - 0.895

Salinity (PPS): 33.032 - 35.464

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.447 - 4.932

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.067 - 0.238

Silicate (umol/l): 1.005 - 4.493
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Stichopus chloronotus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 15 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ATGAACAAAATGAGATTTTGGCTAGTTCCTCCTTCTTTTATTCTTTTACTAGCCTCAGCCGGAGTCGAAAGAGGTGCTGGAACTGGATGAACAATTTACCCACCACTCTCGAGAAACATTGCGCATGCAGGAGGATCAGTGGATCTA---GCCATTTTCTCCCTCCACTTAGCAGGAGCATCCTCCATCCTTGCCTCAATTAATTTCATTACCACAATAATAAAAATGCGAACACCAGGAATCACTTTTGACCGACTTCCTTTATTTGTTTGATCAGTCTTTATAACGGCGTTTTTATTATTACTTAGACTTCCGGTTCTAGCCGGA---GCTATAACTATGCTTCTTACAGACCGAAAAATAAAAACTACCTTTTTTGACCCTGCTGGTGGGGGAGACCCTATACTATTCCAACATCTTTTTTGATTCTTTGGGCATCCAGAAGTTTATATCCTTATTCTTCCAGGGTTTGGAATGATCTCTCATGTAATAGCTCATTACAGAGGAAAGCAA---GAACCTTTTGGTTATCTAGGAATGGTGTATGCCATGGTCGCCATCGGT------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ATC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Stichopus chloronotus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 15
Specimens with Barcodes: 32
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Genomic DNA is available from 1 specimen with morphological vouchers housed at CSIRO, Australian National Fish Collection
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Conand, C., Gamboa, R. & Purcell, S.

Reviewer/s
Polidoro, B., Knapp, L., Harwell, H. & Carpenter, K.E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widespread in the Indo-Pacific, and is considered common. It is relatively small bodied, and is targeted in many parts of its range. However, it is found in high densities, is fast-growing and can reproduce by both sexual and asexual reproduction (transverse fission) at different seasons. At this time, there is no current indication of widespread decline. It is listed as Least Concern. However, this species should be carefully monitored if fishing pressure increases, given its shallow depth range and medium commercial value.
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Population

Population

This species was the most common of all the commercially exploited species in New Caledonia (Purcell pers. comm. 2010). In the Northern Mariana Islands in 1995, this species was one of the main species because of relative abundance, however in 1996 fishing operations moved to another island due to a decline in catches because of seasonal weather conditions and overexploitation. Surveys in Pohnpei (Federal States of Micronesia) in 2000 found relatively high population densities. In the Solomon Islands, this species was found in low densities whereas in Vanuatu it is abundant. In New Caledonia, some dense patches (100 ind*ha-1) have been found (Kinch et al. 2008).

In Malaysia, this species is considered the second most abundant (Choo 2008). In Réunion, this species showed a total mean density of 0.34 ± 0.69 ind*m-2. Mean density in the back reefs was 0.78 ± 0.91 ind*m-2 (Conand 2008). In India, the species was once abundant, but has now disappeared due to habitat destruction (Conand 2008).

Populations can reach high densities on hard substrates, with a mean of around 0.04 ind*m-2. Shallow water populations are generally smaller in size than those found in deeper waters.

This species is relatively abundant along reefs of La Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean (Conand and Mangion 2002).

Eriksson (2006) used species-specific transect data to estimate an average population density of 58 individuals of this species per hectare in Samoan lagoons. The species was present in 112 of 297 transects.

In interviews, local Samoan fishermen expressed a general belief that recent cyclone activity has lead to a decrease in the number of this species available for harvest. This may be due to changes in the sediment including grain size, ratio of organic material, etc. (Eriksson 2006).

A survey in Kosrae, Micronesia found this species in 20% of transects and the population density was estimated at 150 animals per hectare (Lindsay and Abraham 2004).

A density of 1.6 individuals of this species per hectare has been estimated for the Solomon Islands (Eriksson 2006).

In the Gulf of Manner and Pal Bay, CPUE and size of specimens has dramatically declined (Bruckner et al. 2003).

In Thailand, populations of this species have decreased in fishing areas (Bruckner et al. 2003).

Mean densities at ideal habitats can reach high levels, ranging from 11 to 167 ind*100m-² (Rasolofonirina pers. comm. 2010).

Purcell et al. (2009) recorded this species at 19 lagoon sites, evenly dispersed along la Grande Terre, New Caledonia. At 4 of those sites, abundances were between 1,000 and 4,000 ind*km-2.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats

This is a relatively small species, that has an enormous loss of weight when processed (98%). It is fast-growing and can reproduce by fission. However, it is gaining more importance as it looks like Apostichopus japonicus, and maybe increasing in value in some countries.

Although not one of the most important species (medium value) for fishery purposes, it can be expected that this species may become more popular after the depletion or reduction of other species of higher commercial importance and value. This was seen in Fiji, after the decline of Actinopyga miliaris (Kinch et al. 2008).

In interviews, local Samoan fishermen expressed a general belief that recent cyclone activity has lead to a decrease in the number of this species available for harvest. This may be due to changes in the sediment, including grain size, ratio of organic material, etc. (Eriksson 2006).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

In Samoa, there is a dry size limit of 6.3 cm TL. In Papua New Guinea, it is 20 cm TL live, and 10 cm TL dry (Kinch et al. 2008)

Sea cucumber collection has been banned in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Bruckner et al. 2003).
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Wikipedia

Stichopus chloronotus

Stichopus chloronotus is a species of sea cucumber. Common names include the greenfish sea cucumber, the spiky sea cucumber and the black knobby sea cucumber. [3] It is native to the Indo-Pacific region. It has a wide range and is abundant and the IUCN lists it as being of "Least Concern".

Description[edit]

Stichopus chloronotus is a fairly large species growing to about 25 cm (10 in) with a firm but pliable body and a squarish cross section. The skin is smooth but there are numerous conical fleshy papillae in longitudinal rows, and these are larger on the lower lateral angles. This sea cucumber is a deep blackish-green in colour, and has yellow or red tips to the papillae.[3][4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Stichopus chloronotus is native to the Indo-Pacific. Its range extends from the Red Sea and the East Coast of Africa, through Madagascar, the Seychelles, the Comores and Réunion[2] to Australia, Indonesia, China, Japan, Guam, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.[1] It lives on reefs, but can also be found on rubble located on the outer reef flats[4] at depths down to about 12 m (39 ft).[3]

Biology[edit]

Stichopus chloronotus is a detritivore and sifts through the sediment on the seabed with its tentacles and feeds on detritus and other organic matter including plant and animal remains, bacteria, protozoa, diatoms and faeces.[5] In the process it swallows a lot of sand and plays an important part in churning up and aerating the seabed.[6]

Stichopus chloronotus can reproduce asexually by undergoing transverse fission, forming two new individuals which each regenerate the missing parts. It can also reproduce sexually.[1]

Status[edit]

Stichopus chloronotus processes a lot of sand

Stichopus chloronotus is gathered for human consumption across much of its range. Although not one of the most important species for this purpose, it resembles the much-favoured Japanese sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus and is increasingly being caught in some areas as supplies of that species dwindle. This species has a widespread distribution and is common in many parts of its range so the IUCN lists it as being of "Least Concern".[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Conand, C.; Gamboa, R.; Purcell, S. (2013). "Stichopus chloronotus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  2. ^ a b c Paulay, Gustav (2013). "Stichopus chloronotus Brandt, 1835". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  3. ^ a b c "Greenfish sea cucumber". Florent's Guide to the Tropical Reefs. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  4. ^ a b "Stichopus chloronotus". North Australian Sea Cucumbers. Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2014-02-08. 
  5. ^ Poh-Sze Choo. "Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in Asia". FAO. Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  6. ^ Marine Biology Papers, Volume 19 Carnegie Institution of Washington. Tortugas Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington. 1924, p 34
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