Australostichopus mollis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Echinodermata Holothuroidea Aspidochirotida Stichopodidae

Scientific Name: Australostichopus mollis Hutton 1872
Taxonomic Notes:

Australostichopus mollis was previously known as S. mollis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-05-18
Assessor(s): Samyn, Y.
Reviewer(s): Carpenter, K.E., Harwell, H., Polidoro, B. & Knapp, L.

This species is only known from New Zealand and southern Australia, where it occurs in deeper waters and can be common in some parts of its range. It has been fished in New Zealand under quotas (total allowable catch). Therefore it is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is found in the Western Central Pacific, at New Zealand and the southern coasts of Australia (Kinch et al. 2008).

Countries occurrence:
Australia; New Zealand
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – southwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):140
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species is common along many coastlines of New Zealand as well as southern coasts of Australia. Surveys of this species conducted in the early 1990s in New Zealand found densities of 10-20 ind*ha-1 (Kinch et al. 2008).

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in subtidal rocky reefs to depths of 140m. It reproduces over four months in the summer from November to February (Sewell 1992). Many sea cucumbers are broadcast spawners, which can limit the fertilization success of a species in exploited populations.

No information is known on the changes of habitat requirements during the life history of this species, but generally, the juveniles of aspidochirotids are cryptic and small individuals may migrate into adult habitat later (Purcell 2004).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In the Western Central Pacific, this species is fished only in New Zealand (Kinch et al. 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Although not one of the most important species for fishery purposes, it can be expected that this species may become more popular after the depletion or reduction of other species of higher commercial importance and value.

This species may be important in the future in polyculture with mussels (Slater and Carton 2007). Sea ranching and stock development is being explored (Morgan 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There is currently a quota for this fishery in New Zealand.

Citation: Samyn, Y. 2013. Australostichopus mollis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T180332A1616401. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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