Pearsonothuria graeffei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Echinodermata Holothuroidea Aspidochirotida Holothuriidae

Scientific Name: Pearsonothuria graeffei (Semper, 1868)
Common Name(s):
English Blackspotted Sea Cucumber, Flowerfish
Bohadschia draschi Cherbonnier, 1955
Bohadschia graeffei Semper, 1868
Holothuria graeffei Semper, 1868
Taxonomic Notes:

Previously known as Bohadschia graeffei (Conand 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-05-18
Assessor(s): Conand, C., Gamboa, R. & Purcell, S.
Reviewer(s): Polidoro, B., Knapp, L., Carpenter, K.E. & Harwell, H.
This species is widespread in the Indo-Pacific, and is considered common. It is heavily fished in at least 25% of its range (Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Madagascar), however due to its low commercial value, it is not readily fished in the other parts of its range. It is listed as Least Concern. However, this species should be monitored, if it becomes of higher value or as other high value species become depleted.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the Indo-Pacific, excluding the Persian Gulf and Hawaii. It occurs from eastern Africa (Kenya) to Kiribati and the Marshall Islands in the east. The range includes northern Australia in the south, and the Red Sea to the Philippines (including India, Bangladesh and the southeast Asian peninsula) in the north.
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa; Australia; Bangladesh; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Comoros; Cook Islands; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Israel; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; RĂ©union; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):25
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a very common species. Population densities are generally less than 50 individuals per hectare. In Seychelles, it has an average density of 0.08 ind*ha-1 where it is unexploited (Aumeeruddy and Conand 2008). In Papua New Guinea, there were 4 ind*/ha-1 in 1992 and 6 ind*ha-1 in 2006 (Kaly et al. 2007)
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This is a coral reef species rarely found in depths of more than 25 m; mostly found on reef slopes close to the coast; abundant on corals mixed with calcareous red algae. In the Western Central Pacific region, this species can be found in reef slopes and protected back reef areas in patch reef close to the coast between 0 and 25 m (Kinch et al. 2008). In Africa and the Indian Ocean region, this species prefers to inhabit living corals in shallow reefs. It often feeds during the day and night on detritus. In Kenya, this species is often found grazing on dead coral and sponges (Samyn 2000). This species does not burrow. Little is known on its biology (Conand 2008). In Japan, it lives in sandy areas and reef zones between 5 and 20 m (Bruckner 2005).

In the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), this species reproduces between November and February (Kinch et al. 2008). The juveniles of this species are very different from the adult, resembling toxic nudibranchs (Samyn et al. 2006, Conand 2008). This species is known to host the pearl fish Carapus boraborensis (Eeckhaut et al. 2004).

There are quite a few observations of spawning of this species (Conand pers. comm. 2010).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This species is commercially exploited in Guam, FSM, Kiribati, PNG, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Fiji (Kinch et al. 2008), and is heavily exploited in about 25% of its range in Malaysia, Philippines (as B. graeffei), Indonesia (Choo 2008), and Madagascar (Rasolofonirina 2007)

This species has low commercial value (Toral-Granda 2006). It is not commonly harvested in other parts of its range.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species is harvested in part of its range. However, the affect of this action on the population of this species is unknown. There are no other known threats occurring to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species specific conservation measures for this species.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.4. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.2. Back Slope
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.3. Foreslope (Outer Reef Slope)

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Aumeeruddy, R. and Conand, C. 2008. Seychelles: a hotspot of sea cucumber fisheries in Africa and Indian ocean. In: Toral-Granda V., Lovatelli A., Vasconcellos M. (ed.), Sea cucumbers. A global review on fishery and trade.. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 516, Rome.

Bruckner, A.W. 2005. The recent status of sea cucumber fisheries in the continental United States of America. SPC Beche-de-mer Information Bulletin 22: 39-46.

Choo, P.S. 2008. Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in Asia. In: M.V. Toral-Granda, A. Lovatelli, M. Vasconcellos. (ed.), Sea cucumbers. A global review on fisheries and trade.. FAO, Rome.

Conand, C. 2008. Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in Africa and the Indian Ocean. In: M.V. Toral-Granada, A. Lovatelli, M. Vasconcellos. (ed.), Sea cucumbers. A global review on fisheries and trade.. FAO, Rome.

Conand, C.P. 1998. Holothurians (sea cucumbers, Class Holothuroidea). In: K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds), FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes, pp. 1157-1190. Rome.

Eeckhaut, I., Parmentier, E., Becker, P., Da Silva, S.G. and Jangoux, M. 2004. Parasites and biotic diseases in field and cultivated sea cucumbers. In: A. Lovatelli, C. Conand, S. Purcell, S. Uthicke, J.F. Hamel and A. Mercier (eds), Advances in sea cucumber aquaculture and management. Fisheries Technical Paper No. 463, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

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

Kaly, U., Preston, G., Opnai, J. and Aini, J. 2007. Sea Cucumber Survey in New Ireland Province. National Fisheries Authority.

Kinch, J., Purcell, S., Uthicke, S. and Friedman, K. 2008. Population status, fisheries and trade of sea cucumbers in the Western Central Pacific. In: V. Toral-Granda and A. Lovatelli and M. Vasconcellos. (eds), Sea cucumbers. A global review of fisheries and trade. Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. No. 516, pp. 7-55. FAO, Rome.

Rasolofonirina, R. 2007. Sea cucumbers in Madagascar. In: C. Conand, N.A. Muthiga. (ed.), Commercial sea cucumbers: a review for the Western Indian Ocean., pp. 66. WIOMSA Book Series No. 5v.

Samyn, Y. 2000. Conservation of aspidochirotid holothurians in the littoral waters of Kenya. Beche-de-mer 13.

Samyn, Y., Van Den Spiegel, D. and Massin, C. 2006. Taxonomie des holothuries des Comores. AbcTaxa 1(i-iii): 130.

Toral-Granda, V.M. 2006. Fact sheets and identification guide for commercial Sea cucumber species.

Citation: Conand, C., Gamboa, R. & Purcell, S. 2013. Pearsonothuria graeffei. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T180248A1605468. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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