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Holothuria thomasiPawson & Caycedo, 1980
Common Name: Tiger's tail

PhylumClassOrderFamilyGenusSpeciesSubspecies
EchinodermataHolothuroideaAspidochirotidaHolothuriidaeHolothuriathomasiThymiosycia
Habitat
Associated with reef-building corals, often on fore reef escarpments between the outer fore reef ridge and the steep reef slope.
Distribution
Caribbean
Natural History Notes
Although this is the largest sea cucumber in the western Atlantic, entire individuals are rarely seen and the species was not described until 1980. Individuals are cryptic and anchor tightly in reef crevices, extending only the anterior portion of the body to feed on sand or algae-covered substrates. As the extended anterior third of the body sweeps across the substrate, the tentacles grasp sediment and rubble up to 2 cm long and push them into the mouth.
Depth
3-30 m
Characteristics
This species grows to 2 m, making it by far the largest sea cucumber species in the area. The body is cylindrical and elongate and expanded at the oral end when the animal is feeding. The ventrally-positioned mouth is surrounded by 20 shield-shaped tentacles. Individuals are generally mottled yellowish to golden brown, with white-tipped dorsal papillae. Some individuals are darker hues of brown and maroon, and the lower surface is usually lighter than the upper. Irregular bands of white and golden brown are occasionally observed. Tentacles are light pink to yellow or chocolate brown.
In Bocas Del Toro
Reported ByHendler, G, 2003.
Museum ReferencesLACM
LocalityBahía de Almirante
Compiled by
Lexi Weintraub
Links
Reference
Hendler, Gordon, John E. Miller, David L. Pawson, and Porter M. Kier. 1995. Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, and Allies - Echinoderms of Florida and the Caribbean. Washington D. C. 390pp.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
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