The Holothurian Fauna of Cook Strait, New Zealand
Stichopus Brandt, 1835
Stichopus Brandt, 1835
Diagnosis: Ventral surface flattened, markedly distinct from the dorsal surface; pedicels more or less fully covering the ventral side; dorsal surface with tubercles or papillae, at least along the lateral margins; tentacles typically 20; gonads in a tuft along each side of the dorsal mesentery; no cuvierian organs; no anal teeth or noticeable papillae around the cloacal opening; numerous calcareous tables in epidermis. Polian vesicles few, unbranched; madreporic canal single (After Clark, 1922).
Type Species: Stichopus chloronotus Brandt.
A single species, Stichopus mollis (Hutton) is known from New Zealand.
Stichopus mollis (Hutton)
- Holothuria mollis Hutton, 1872, p. 15; Hutton. 1878, p. 308.
- Stichopus sordidus Theel, 1886, p. 167, Pl. 8, fig. 3.
- Holothuria victoriae Bell. 1887, p. 534. Pl. 45. fig. 7.
- Stichopus mollis Dendy, 1896, p. 46. Pl. 7. figs. 73–82; Whitelegge, 1897. p. 50; Farquhar, 1898. p. 326; Ludwig, 1898, p. 7; Perrier. 1905, p. 83; Dendy and Hindle, 1907, p. 96, Pl. 12, fig. 12; Erwe, 1915, p. 387. Taf. VII, fig. 22; Joshua, 1914. p. 2; Clark, 1922, p. 60; Mortensen, 1925, p.327; Clark, 1938. p. 511; Clark, 1946, p. 417; Dawbin, 1950, p. 35, Pl. 1, fig. 1.
- Stichopus simulans Dendy and Hindle. 1907. p. 97, Pl. 11, fig. 5; Joshua. 1914. p. 3; Clark, 1922, p. 69.
- Stichopus simultans Erwe, 1913, p. 388, Taf. VIII, fig. 23 a-d.
Material Examined: VUZ 15, Palliser Bay, 100–150 fathoms, mud, 3 specimens; VUZ 39, off Days Bay, 8–9 fathoms, mud, 1 specimen; Island Bay, intertidal rock pool, 3 specimens, coll. A. D. Allen, 3/6/1959; Balaena Bay, Wellington Harbour, intertidal rock pool, 1 specimen, coll. D. L. Pawson, 21/8/1960.page 35
Diagnosis: Large forms (up to 25cm total length), colour light brown to black. Deposits tables with regular spires, which are more or less open at the top, with one or two crossbars. Discs of tables square or squarish, 0.055–0.065mm in diameter, with four large holes and four smaller holes at the corners.
Discussion: This species is the best known and most easily recognised of the New Zealand holothurians. Previous workers (Dendy, 1896; Erwe, 1915: Clark, 1922; Mortensen, 1925) have described the anatomy and calcareous deposits of Stichopus mollis very fully, and Dawbin (1949) has given an account of its autoevisceration and regeneration.
Stichopus mollis is common in the areas in which it occurs, and it is known from central and southern New Zealand, southern and western Australia, and Tasmania, where it lives on coarse sand or mud in sheltered areas to depths of at least 150 fathoms.