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The Holothurian Fauna of Cook Strait, New Zealand


page 27

Diagnosis: Tentacles 10, equal, or with a smaller ventral pair. Tubefeet confined to the radii or scattered over the body. The mesentery of the posterior loop of the intestine lies in the left ventral interradius.

About 30% of the known New Zealand holothurian species are placed in this very large family. Panning (1949) revised the group, diagnosing five subfamilies on the basis of calcareous rings and calcareous deposits. Two of these subfamilies have representatives in the Cook Strait region.

Key to the Cook Strait Subfamilies of Family Cucumariidae
1 (2) Calcareous rings composed of 10 solid pieces. Calcareous deposits cups and plates Subfam. Colochirinae
2 (1) Calcareous ring long and slender, the entire ring composed of a complex mosaic of minute pieces Subfam. Thyoninae