Holothuria coluber   Semper, 1868

Snake fish

Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2050
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Holothuria coluber  AquaMaps  Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Holothuria coluber

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | CoL | ITIS | WoRMS

Holothuroidea | Holothuriida | Holothuriidae

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Reef-associated; depth range 0 - 25 m (Ref. 81020), usually 0 - 8 m (Ref. 92930).  Tropical

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Pacific ocean, excluding Hawaii.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 122); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 122); max. published weight: 1.0 kg (Ref. 122)

Short description Morphology

Mean live weight 300 to 1000 g; body-wall thickness 0.4 cm. Body cylindrical, very elongate, larger near the posterior end. Tegument very tough. Papillae on bivium short; emerging from warts; podia on trivium conical, stout, yellow, arranged in 10 rows on the radii and interradii; calcareous disc of podia around 400 micrometer in diameter. Mouth ventral, surrounded by 20 very long, stout tentacles of characteristic yellow color; mouth also surrounded by a collar of small papillae. Anus surrounded by 5 groups of 3 small papillae. Calcareous ring with large and high radial pieces and narrow interradials. Cuvierian tubules absent. Black, with yellow podia. Spicules on tegument with tables and pseudo-buttons; tables with circular discs showing 8 holes, bearing a spire of 4 pillars, with spiny crown, hollow in the middle; pseudo-buttons plate-like with denticulate border; rods in the podia and papillae smooth, with holes at their ends; tentacles with nodulous rods.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Not known to be traditionally harvested, but in recent times, due to increasing demand, this species also appears in the processed products of some Pacific Islands; low commercial value. Collected by hand while wading on the reefs at low tide, or by divers. Found in moderately shallow water; mostly on inner reef flats of fringing and lagoon-islet reefs and shallow coastal lagoons; abundant on sandy-muddy grounds with rubble or coral patches, where it hides the posterior part of its body (Ref. 122). Inhabits the edges of reefs and under boulders. Feeds on the surface of sediments (Ref. 92930). Population densities between 0.1 and 0.2 per square meter (Ref. 122).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Conand, C. 1998. (Ref. 122)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 18 May 2010

CITES status (Ref. 108899)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial
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More information

FAO areas
Food items
Common names
Egg development
Mass conversion

Internet sources

BHL | BOLD Systems | CISTI | DiscoverLife | FAO(Publication : search) | Fishipedia | GenBank (genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Gomexsi | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | PubMed | Tree of Life | Wikipedia (Go, Search) | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 25.5 - 29.3, mean 28.6 (based on 2638 cells).
Vulnerability (Ref. 71543): Moderate vulnerability (44 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766): Unknown.