SEA CUCUMBERS
HOLOTHURIIDAE
Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber
Holothuria mexicana
Size
To 50cm

Description
:
Grey to black with
deep creases, sometimes covered in  warts, and has a tough and rigid texture. Sole (underside) rose to white with scattered brown podia.

Ecology
This solitary species resides in shallow, calm waters that have a sandy bottom. It can also be found at locations that have seagrass beds  and sandy ground near reef hard bottoms, mangroves, and lagoons. They are nocturnal, feeding mostly at evening time and onward throughout the night on  small organisms e.g. algae, minute aquatic organisms and waste materials.
Underside is also covered in tube feet called pseudopodia. The mouth is under the front end of the body, and has tentacles that are used for feeding

Life Cycle
Matures at ~18cm. Reproduction  by spawning. Members of the class Holothuroidea are gonochoric (male and female sexes) and have only one gonad. The female expells eggs into the water through her sexual organ called a gonopore. Sperm are dispersed by males. Movements of their tentacles are used to help disperse the eggs and sperm through the water. Fertilization of the egg by the sperm occurs and an auricularia larva is formed,  then into doliolaria (barrel-shaped stage) which later metamorphose into juvenile sea cucumbers
Spawning appears to be seasonal.
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
Be
S, Co, R
50 Det, Noct I F
Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber
(C) B Dayhuff/ NOAA
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Donkey Dung Sea Cucumber