Actinopyga obesa 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Echinodermata Holothuroidea Aspidochirotida Holothuriidae

Scientific Name: Actinopyga obesa (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).
Countries occurrence:
Australia; China; Comoros; Japan; Mayotte; Philippines; United States (Hawaiian Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):20
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).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are reports of the use of this species but there is no information about the landings (Conand pers. comm. 2010). There is a fishery in the Philippines for this species (Schoppe 2000). It is sold in the markets of Mayotte, Comoros Islands at a low value (Conand et al. 2005).

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.

Classifications [top]

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Cherbonnier, G. 1988. Echinodermes: Holothurides. Faune de Madagscar 70: 1-292.

Clark, A.M. and Rowe, F.W.E. 1971. Monograph of shallow-water Indo-west Pacific Echinoderms. Trustees of the British Museum of Natural History, London.

Conand, C., Dinhut, V., Quod, J.-P. and Rolland, R. 2005. Sea cucumber inventory in Mayotte, southwest Indian Ocean. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 22: 19-22.

Humes, A.G. 1975. Cyclopoid Copepods (Nanaspididae and Sabelliphilidae) Associated with Holothurians in New Caledonia. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology Number 202. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Liao, Y. 1980. The aspidochirote holothurians of Chinawith erection of a new genus. In: M. Jangoux (ed.), Echinoderms: Present and Past (Proceeding of European Colloquium on Echinoderm), pp. 115-120. A. A. Balkema Publishers, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Mulochau, T., Conand, C. and Quod, J.-P. 2007. Sea cucumbers and other echinoderms at Geyser Bank, Mayotte (Indian Ocean). SPC Beche de Mer Information Bulletin 26: 7-13.

Samyn, Y., Vandenspiegel, D. and Massin, C. 2006. A new Indo-Pacific species of Actinopyga (Holothuroidea: Aspidochirotida: Holothuriidae). Zootaxa 1138: 53-68.

Schoppe, S. 2000. A guide to common shallow water sea stars, brittle stars, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and feather stars (echinoderms) of the Philippines. Times Media Private Limited, Singapore.

World Database of Protected Areas. 2010. Marine Protected Areas. Available at: (Accessed: 1 December).

Citation: Hamel, J.-F. 2013. Actinopyga obesa. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T180338A1617346. . Downloaded on 25 June 2018.
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