Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

 A sea cucumber with a cylindrical, dark brown or bluish-purple body, and very tough, leathery skin. A large sea cucumber up to 50 cm long when fully grown. The tentacles and mouth region can be quite colourful, with areas of white or red. The contractile tube feet are present in five distinct rows. The ten equal-sized tentacles are black and bushy when extended. Fenestrate plates (microscopic calcareous plates containing small holes) present in younger animals but may be absent in larger specimens.A detailed taxonomic description is provided by McKenzie (1991).
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Description

A large black sea cucumber with enormous bushy tentacles. The body is fat and the skin thick and leathery. There are five distinct rows of tube-feet. The skin of small specimens contains spicules but these are very sparse in larger specimens. Up to 50cm in length. The large bushy tentacles are quite different to those of Holothuria forskali the only other large black sea cucumber likely to be encountered.
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Distribution

From low intertidal to more than 200 m depth, among rocks, stones and seaweed; northern Scotland, Orkeny, Shetland and the northern of the North Sea
  • Southward, E.C.; Campbell, A.C. (2006). [Echinoderms: keys and notes for the identification of British species]. Synopses of the British fauna (new series), 56. Field Studies Council: Shrewsbury, UK. ISBN 1-85153-269-2. 272 pp.
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Arctic to Cape Cod
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Recorded from the north east coast of Scotland, Shetland and Orkney. The range may have retracted northwards in the last hundred years as there are old records from the west coast of Scotland.
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Ecology

Habitat

intertidal, infralittoral and circalittoral of the Gulf and estuary
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Depth range based on 446 specimens in 2 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 303 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 265
  Temperature range (°C): -0.962 - 11.782
  Nitrate (umol/L): 2.631 - 17.420
  Salinity (PPS): 32.125 - 35.221
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.308 - 7.535
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.418 - 1.528
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.666 - 29.140

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 265

Temperature range (°C): -0.962 - 11.782

Nitrate (umol/L): 2.631 - 17.420

Salinity (PPS): 32.125 - 35.221

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.308 - 7.535

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.418 - 1.528

Silicate (umol/l): 2.666 - 29.140
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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 Found on the lower shore and shallow sublittoral, to perhaps 200 m, on coarse grounds, often among kelp holdfasts. It can also be found on rocky substrata.
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Lives in rocky areas, with the body attached to elevated rock surfaces, often just below low tide mark and in shallow water.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Breeding

Barrel - shaped, red larvae. Early spring
  • Southward, E.C.; Campbell, A.C. (2006). [Echinoderms: keys and notes for the identification of British species]. Synopses of the British fauna (new series), 56. Field Studies Council: Shrewsbury, UK. ISBN 1-85153-269-2. 272 pp.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Cucumaria frondosa

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


There are 365 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.

GGGGCTCCCGACATGGCCTTCCCTCGAATGAAAAACATGAGATTCTGACTAATACCTCCCTCATTTATCCTCCTCCTAGCCTCCGCAGGAGTAGAAAAAGGGGCAGGAACCGGATGGACACTCTACCCCCCTCTATCAAGAAAAATCGCCCACGCAGGAGGATCAGTTGATCTT---GCAATCTTCTCCCTTCACCTAGCAGGAGCTTCATCAATTCTTGCTTCAATAAAATTTATTACTACAATTATAAAAATGCGAAGCCCAGGAGTAACTTTCGACCGACTGCCCCTATTTGTCTGATCAATTTTCATAACAGCCTTCCTTCTCCTTCTTAGTCTCCCAGTCCTAGCAGGA---GCCATAACAATGCTCCTCACAGACCGAAACATTAAAACTTCATTCTTCGACCCCGCAGGAGGAGGAGATCCTATACTCTTCCAACACCTATTCTGATTTTTTGGCCATCCAGAAGTATATATCCTTATACTCCCTGGATTCGGAATGATATCACACGTAATAGCCCACTATAGAGGAAAGCAA---GAGCCATTTGGGTACCTAGGAATGGTGTATGCAATGGTAGCAATCGGTATCCTAGGATTCCTAGTATGAGCACACCATATG------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------GTC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cucumaria frondosa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 364
Specimens with Barcodes: 364
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Wikipedia

Orange-footed sea cucumber

The Orange-footed sea cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa) is the largest sea cucumber in New England.[2] It is one of the most abundant and widespread species of holothurians within the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea (Russia),[3] being most abundant along the eastern coast of northern India.[4][5]

Description[edit]

These sea cucumbers reach around 20 cm (8 in) in length and have ten branched oral tentacles ranging in colour from orange to black.[6] This species has a football shape with a leathery skin ranging in colour from yellowish white to dark brownish-black and is covered with five rows of retractile tube feet.[6][7] The young are about 1 mm to 6 mm long and are translucent orange and pink.[6] Three of these bands of tube feet are found on bottom whereas the top rows are often reduced. Adults of C. frondosa have a reduced numbers of spicules (skeletal structures) shaped like rounded plates with many holes.[8] The sexes can be identified by the conspicuous tube-shaped (female) or heart-shaped (male) gonopore located under the crown of oral tentacles.[9]

Habitat[edit]

Their habitat is rocks, crevices or low-tide Arctic water.[10] They are known to cover vast areas of the substrate at depths of less than 30 meters (100 ft).[5][11]

Feeding[edit]

The sea cucumber has modified its oral tube feet to form tentacles surrounding its mouth which are retracted when disturbed or bringing food into its mouth.[12] The tentacles are displayed in a ring form with ten individual tentacles that are each highly branched looking treelike. Most sea cucumbers are deposit feeders but Cucumaria frondosa are a suspension feeding[13] organism where they catch available particles in the ocean on their tentacles.

Sea cucumbers were tested in the Atlantic Ocean to see if there was seasonality to the feeding of cucumbers. Specifically C. frondosa were shown to have this feeding adaptation, and feed only in the spring (March to April) when the day length, water temperature, and chlorophyll concentration began to increase [14] A combination of these environmental cues is accountable for the feeding of C. frondosa because just one of them is not enough to trigger the animal to start eating. The chlorophyll concentration increases during this time due to a phytoplankton bloom season and larger amount of primary production. The cucumber does not eat through the colder seasons and will start back up again in the spring.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hansson, Hans (2010). "Cucumaria frondosa (Gunnerus, 1767)". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  2. ^ Leland W. Pollock 1998 - A Practical Guide to the Marine Animals of Northeastern North America -Rutgers University Press Page 276
  3. ^ Gudimova, E.N., Gudimov, A., and Colline, P. 2004. A study of the biology for fishery in two populations of Cucumaria frondosa: In the Barents Sea (Russia) and in the Gulf of Maine (USA). In Echinoderms: München. Edited by T. Heinzeller and J.H. Nebelsick. CRC Press, London.
  4. ^ Hyman, L.H. 1955. The invertebrates: Echinodermata. McGraw-Hill Book Company Inc., New York.
  5. ^ a b Jordan, A.J. 1972. On the ecology and behavior of Cucumaria frondosa (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) at Lamoine Beach, Maine. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Biology, The University of Maine, Orono, M.E. 74 pp.
  6. ^ a b c Gosner, K.L. 1978. This species of Sea Cucumber can move about two feet per day. It is able to accomplish this task by the movement of its stomach wall muscles. Peterson field guides: Atlantic seashore. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  7. ^ Jordan, A. J. 1972. On the ecology and behaviour of Cucumaria frondosa (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea at Lamoine Beach, Maine. Ph.D. thesis, University of Maine and Orono, Orono. United States.
  8. ^ Levin, V. S., and Gudimova, E. N. 2000. Taxonomic interrelations of holothurians Cucumaria frondosa and C. japonica (Dendrochirotida, Cucumariidae). S.P.C. Beche-de-mer Inf. Bull. 13: 22-29.
  9. ^ Hamel, J.-F. and Mercier, A. 1996a. Early development, settlement, growth, and spatial distribution of the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 53: 253-271.
  10. ^ Andrew J. Martinez - 2003 - Marine Life of the North Atlantic: Canada to New England - Aqua Quest Publications Page 178
  11. ^ Singh, R., MacDonald, B.A., Lawton, P., and Thomas, M.L.H. 1998. Feeding response of the dendrochirote sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) to changing food concentrations in the laboratory. Can. J. Zool. 76: 1842-1849.
  12. ^ Pechenik, Jan A. 2010. Biology of the Invertebrates. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Boston, Massachusetts.
  13. ^ Tim Wijgerde. "Filter and suspension feeders". Coral Publications. Retrieved 2009. 
  14. ^ Singh, R., MacDonald, B. A., Thomas, M. L., & Lawton, P. 1999. Patterns of seasonal and tidal feeding activity in the dendrochirote sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 187, 133-145.
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