Actinopyga obesa


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Actinopyga obesa
Species Authority: (Selenka, 1867)
Common Name/s:
English Plump Sea Cucumber
Taxonomic Notes: There are two subspecies of Actinopyga obesa, entitled A. obesa obesa and A. obesa palauensi.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-05-19
Assessor/s: Hamel, J.-F.
Reviewer/s: Polidoro, B., Harwell, H., Carpenter, K.E. & Knapp, L.

This species is found in shallow waters and appears to be fished, although no landings data are available. There is very little known on this species distribution, population status, habitat, ecology, or impact of any potential major threats. It is listed as Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the southwest Indian Ocean in the Comoros, as well as Australia (Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia to Port Macquarie, New South Wales), northwards to southern Japan and eastwards to Hawaii. The record from Hong Kong is a miss-identification of Holothuria moebii (Liao 1980).
Australia; China; Comoros; Japan; Mayotte; Philippines; United States (Hawaiian Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is very little available information on the population of this species. During a survey of 11 sites at Geyser Bay, Mayotte in 2006, this species was relatively rare with a relative abundance of 11% and a frequency of observation of 18% (Mulochau et al. 2007).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is a reef associated, benthic and inshore detritus and deposit feeder (Clark and Rowe 1971). The subspecies Actinopyga obesa palauensis is found in association with the copepods, Chauliolobion bulbosum and Scambicornus calcaratus, in parts of its distribution (Humes 1975).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This shallow water species may be fished within its range, especially as it has been identified in a Philippine fishery. However, as landings data are not available, the impact of fishing or other anthropogenic impacts are not known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures in place for this species. However, the distribution of this species directly overlaps with several marine protected areas throughout its distribution. More research is needed on this species' population size, ecology, and the impact of fisheries on it.
Citation: Hamel, J.-F. 2013. Actinopyga obesa. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 21 April 2014.
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