Holothuria scabra   Jaeger,  1833 (Sea Cucumber)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Holothuroidea

Image copyrights: David Harasti

Size: Max length 40.0 cm TL (male); common length 22.0 cm TL (male).

Max. weight reported: 1,500 g

Color: Highly variable; the upper side is grey in color with white or yellow horizontal bands. The lower side is white in color with fine black dots.

Body oval, arched dorsally (bivium) and flattened ventrally (trivium). Bivium with characteristics wrinkles, covered by sediment when the animal is coming out of the bottom. Bivium with small papillae within black dots, and black podia ending in a disc of around 0.022 cm diameter; podia on trivium arranged irregularly, their calcareous disc around 0.035 cm in diameter. Mouth ventral, surrounded by a collar of papillae and 20 grey, short and stout tentacles. Anus terminal, surrounded by a circle of 5 groups of radial papillae. Calcareous ring with a large medio-ventral radial piece. Cuverian tubules absent. Spicules very numerous; ventral tegument with tables and buttons, the tables having a moderately small disc, perforated by a varying number of holes of variable size, the spire with 4 pillars and a cross-like bridge, ending in a spiny crown with a hole in the middle; knobby buttons generally have 6 holes, occasionally more; small rods and denticulate plates also present; tables and buttons in dorsal tegument tables with a nodose disc, much larger than in ventral tegument; buttons variable, larger, and more perforated than those in ventral tegument; ventral and dorsal podia with long and large spinose rods; tentacles with long spiny rods, small smooth rods, and large denticulate plates.

Sexual reproduction takes place during warm season. A species with a high potential fecundity and early sexual maturity.

It is gregarious in nature. Younger forms are distributed near the shore and as they grow they migrate to deeper waters for breeding. The seed of this species was produced for the first time in India in 1988.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Sandfish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Sandy, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer


• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam (Lat: 9.28) (Long: 79.12) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Palk Bay
• Tamil Nadu, Off Tuticorin INDIA (Record: 06/2002-05/2003)
• Southeast Coast INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Tikadar, BK; Daniel, A and Subbarao, NV (1986) Sea shore animals of Andaman and Nicobar Islands The Director, ZSI, Kolkatta 188 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Bai, MM (1978) The anatomy and histology of the digestive system of Holothuria scabra Joger Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India 20(1-2) 22-31
  • Alfred, JRB; Das, AK and Sanyal, AK (Eds.) (1998) Faunal diversity in India ZSI, Calcutta 1-497 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds) (1991) Animal resources of India (Protozoa to Mammalia) ZSI 1-694 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Nagabhushanam, AK and Krishnan, S (1993) Observations on the distribution of some of the marine organism inhabiting the inter-tidal zone along the western continental shelf of the Bay of Bengal, with particular reference to the Tamil Nadu coastal strip Records of the Zoological Survey of India 93(3-4) 449-490 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Subba Rao, NV and Sastry, DRK (2005) Fauna of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kuchchh (Gujarat) ZSI 79 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Samyn, Y; VandenSpiegel, D and Massin, C (2005) Sea cucumbers of the Comoros Archipelago SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 22 14-18
  • Mohamed, HH Destruction of a Holothuria scabra population by overfishing at Abu Rhamada Island in the Red Sea
  • Riaz, A and Skewes, T (2005) Resource assessment of the holothurian populations in the Seychelles Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 21 19-21 Available at - http://www.spc.int/coastfish/News/BDM/21/BDM21.pdf
  • (1998) Marine crabs of India National Institute of Oceanography Available at - NCL, Pune
  • James, DB (2001) Twenty sea cucumbers from seas around India Naga, The ICLARM Quarterly 24(1 & 2) 4-8 Available at - http://www.worldfishcenter.org/Naga/Naga24-1&2/pdf/features.pdf
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Ramkumar, R and Edward, JKP (2004) Recruitment of epibenthic communities on artificial reefs in Tuticorin coastal waters, southeast coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 46(1) 108-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Rao, DVS; Rao, KS; Iyer, CSP and Chittibabu, P (2008) Possible ecological consequences from the Sethu Samudram Canal Project, India Marine Pollution Bulletin Elsevier 56(2) 170-186 Available at - http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2007.10.018
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at - http://tnenvis.nic.in/PDF/coastal%20data.pdf
  • Scuba equipment USA - Marine species gallery Available at - http://www.scuba-equipment-usa.com/marine/index.html
  • Venkataraman, K and Wafar, M (2005) Coastal and marine biodiversity of India Indian Journal of Marine Sciences 34(1) 57-75 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Sealifebase Available at - http://www.sealifebase.org/
  • (1995) Studies on the biology, ecology and fishery of the sea cucumber Holothuria (Metriatyla) scabra Jaeger from south east coast of India Mariculture Research under the Postgraduate Programme in Mariculture ICMFR Special Publication ICMFR 61 13-17 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/cgi/users/login?target=http%3A%2F%2Feprints.cmfri.org.in%2F6728%2F1%2FTH_44.pdf

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