Holothuria forskali Chiaje, 1841

Holothuria forskali

Description: A common large epifaunal sea cucumber. Colour is variable, usually black but sometimes with yellow mottling especially on the underside. The dorsal papillae may be white-tipped. The animal will readily eject white threads, the cuvierian organs, from the rear end if molested, hence the common name "Cotton-Spinner". The spicules are very small and rare in the body wall. To 30cm length.

Habitat: Lives in rocky sublittoral habitats with considerable wave exposure.

Distribution: Common in rocky sites around SW Britain and on the west coast of Ireland. Very local on the west coast of Scotland.

Similar Species: Several other species of Holothuria are known from the French Atlantic coast and could possibly turn up in southern Britain.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slower, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2015). Holothuria forskali Chiaje, 1841. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Accessed on 2015-11-28

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