ECHINODERMATA : ASPIDOCHIROTIDA : HolothuriidaeSTARFISH, SEA URCHINS, ETC.

Holothuria forskali Chiaje, 1841


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 BioMar data for Ireland - Google Earth map:  download this placemark (not got Google Earth installed?)

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


 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZB4520

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