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Holothuroidea is a Class within the kingdom Animalia. English vernacular for Holothuroidea is Sea Cucumber. More than 846 species and subspecies of Holothuroidea have been described.

Holothuroidea de Blainville, 1834
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata Klein, 1734
Class: Holothuroidea De Blainville, 1834

Diet and digestive system

File:Holothuroidea (Sea cucumber feeding).jpg
A sea cucumber atop gravel, feeding

Holothuroidea are generally scavengers, feeding on debris in the benthic zone of the ocean. Exceptions include some pelagic cucumbers and the species Rynkatorpa pawsoni, which has a commensal relationship with deep-sea anglerfish.[1] The diet of most cucumbers consists of plankton and decaying organic matter found in the sea. Some sea cucumbers position themselves in currents and catch food that flows by with their open tentacles. They also sift through the bottom sediments using their tentacles. Other species can dig into bottom silt or sand until they are completely buried. They then extrude their feeding tentacles, ready to withdraw at any hint of danger. In the South Pacific sea cucumbers may be found in densities of 40 specimens per square meter (33 /sq yd). These populations can process 19 kilograms of sediment per square meter (34 lb /sq yd) per year.[2] A pharynx lies behind the mouth and is surrounded by a ring of ten calcareous plates. In most sea cucumbers, this is the only substantial part of the skeleton, and it forms the point of attachment for muscles that can retract the tentacles into the body for safety as for the main muscles of the body wall. Many species possess an oesophagus and stomach, but in some the pharynx opens directly into the intestine. The intestine is typically long and coiled, and loops through the body three times before terminating in a cloacal chamber, or directly as the anus.[3]

Vernacular Names

  • Arabic: خيار البحر
  • Azerbaijani: Dəniz xiyarları
  • Belarusian: Галатурыі
  • Bengali, Bangla: সামুদ্রিক শসা
  • Bosnian: Morski krastavci
  • Bulgarian: Морски краставици
  • Catalan, Valencian: Cogombre de mar
  • Chinese: 海參
  • Croatian: Trpovi
  • Czech: Sumýši
  • Danish: Søpølser
  • Dutch: Zeekomkommers
  • English: Sea cucumber
  • Estonian: Meripurad
  • Finnish: Merimakkarat
  • French: Holothurie
  • Galician: Holoturoideos
  • Georgian: ჰოლოთურიები
  • German: Seegurken
  • Greek (modern): Ολοθουροειδή
  • Hebrew (modern): מלפפון ים
  • Hungarian: Tengeriuborkák
  • Icelandic: Sæbjúgu
  • Ido: Holoturio
  • Indonesian: Teripang
  • Japanese: ナマコ
  • Kazakh: Голотурийлер
  • Korean: 해삼류
  • Latvian: Jūras gurķi
  • Lithuanian: Holoturijos
  • Macedonian: Морски краставици
  • Malay: Gamat
  • Malayalam: കടൽ വെള്ളരി
  • Navajo, Navaho: Táłtłʼááh chʼoshtsoh chʼééh digháhii
  • Norwegian: Sjøpølser
  • Occitan: Oloturia
  • Persian (Farsi): خیار دریایی
  • Polish: Strzykwy
  • Portuguese: Pepino do mar
  • Quechua: Yaku kumar
  • Russian: Голотурии
  • Serbian: Морски краставац
  • Slovak: Holotúrie
  • Swedish: Sjögurkor
  • Tamil: கடலட்டை
  • Thai: ปลิงทะเล
  • Turkish: Deniz hıyarları
  • Ukrainian: Голотурії
  • Vietnamese: Hải sâm



Higher Taxa

Domain Eukaryota Chatton, 1925 - eukaryotes
Opisthokonta Cavalier-Smith, 1987
Kingdom Animalia C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Epitheliozoa Ax, 1996
Eumetazoa Bütschli, 1910 - eumetazoans
Bilateria Hatschek, 1888 - bilaterians
Eubilateria Ax, 1987
Superphylum Deuterostomia Grobben, 1908 - deuterostomes
Xenambulacraria S.J. Bourlat et al., 2006
Phylum Echinodermata Klein, 1734 ex De Brugière, 1789 - echinoderms
Subphylum Eleutherozoa Bell, 1891
Infraphylum Echinozoa Haeckel, in Von Zittell, 1895
Class Holothuroidea - sea cucumbers

Class Holothuroidea de Blainville, 1834


Map showing distribution of observations of Holothuroidea.

End Notes


  • Kerr, A.}} 2 2000: Evolution and Systematics of Holothuroidea (Echinodermata). Thesis, Yale University.


  • Pawson, D.L.}}; ; Pawson, D.J.}}; ; King, R.A.}} 2 2010: A taxonomic guide to the Echinodermata of the South Atlantic Bight, USA: 1. Sea cucumbers (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea). Zootaxa, 2449: Preview PDF
  • Smiley, S.}} 1 1994: Holothuroidea. In: Harrison, F. W. and F.-S. Chia, eds. Microscopic Anatomy of Invertebrates. Volume 14. Echinodermata. New York: Wiley-Liss, 401-471.
  • Smith, A.B.}} 1 1997: Echinoderm larvae and phylogeny. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 28: 219-241.

ca:Cogombre de mar cs:Sumýši da:Søpølser de:Seegurken el:Ολοθουροειδή en:Sea cucumber es:Holothuroidea fa:خیار دریایی fr:Holothurie id:Teripang io:Holoturio it:Oloturia he:מלפפון ים lt:Holoturijos mk:Морски краставици nl:Zeekomkommers ja:ナマコ no:Sjøpølser pl:Strzykwy pt:Pepino-do-mar ru:Голотурии simple:Sea cucumber sk:Holotúrie fi:Merimakkarat sv:Sjögurkor vi:Hải sâm tr:Deniz hıyarları


Page Notes

  • URL: http://ZipcodeZoo.com/index.php/Holothuroidea
  • Primary Sources: Global Biodiversity Information Facility · the Taxonomicon · The Catalogue of Life, 3rd January 2011 · Wikipedia · Wikispecies · ZipcodeZoo.com.
  • Last revised: 2015-2-9. Last revision: ZZBot. 8450 bytes.
  1. Brusca, R.C.; Brusca, G.J. (1990). "Invertebrates". Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates. ISBN 0-87893-097-3. 
  2. Murphy, Richard C. (2002). "Coral Reefs: Cities Under The Seas". The Darwin Press, Inc. p. 36. ISBN 0-87850-138-X. 
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