Actinopyga caerulea 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Echinodermata Holothuroidea Aspidochirotida Holothuriidae

Scientific Name: Actinopyga caerulea Samyn, Vanden Spiegel & Massin, 2006
Common Name(s):
English Blue Sea Cucumber
Taxonomic Notes: In the Philippines this species may previously have been recorded as Actinopyga crassa or Actinopyga bannwarti (Samyn et al. 2006)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2010-05-18
Assessor(s): Conand, C., Purcell, S. & Gamboa, R.
Reviewer(s): Polidoro, B., Harwell, H., Carpenter, K.E. & Knapp, L.
This species appears to be widespread in the Indo-Pacific, and is considered rare. It is found in relatively shallow waters, and is fished. The extent that this species is currently fished or will be fished in the future is not known. Therefore it is listed as Data Deficient. More information is needed on the status of this species population, distribution, habitat, ecology and impact of major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in the Indo-West Pacific from Comoros in the west to New Caledonia in the east. It is located in the Bali sea, Sulawesi, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Thailand as well.
Countries occurrence:
Comoros; Indonesia; Mayotte; New Caledonia; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Solomon Islands; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):45
Upper depth limit (metres):12
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a rare sea cucumber species and is only known from a few specimens.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is characteristic of somewhat deeper tropical waters and has been observed from 12 to 45m.  It is usually found during the day and night on sand or sand and rubble (Kerr et al. 2006), foraging actively during the day and is a detritus/deposit feeder on coral patches on the outer slope of coral reefs.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested for the production of bêche-de-mer in Papua New Guinea (Kinch et al. 2008), and has been purchased from a local retail market in Guangzhou, China (Wen et al. 2010).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This shallow water species is fished commercially in some parts of its range (Kinch et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures in place for this species, but its distribution directly overlaps with several marine protected areas.  Future research is needed on the population levels of and harvesting effects on this species.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.4. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy
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
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

♦  Food - human
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Cheung, W.W.L., Pitcher, T.J. and Pauly, D. 2005. A fuzzy logic expert system to estimate intrinsic extinction vulnerabilities of marine fishes to fishing. Biological Conservation 124: 97-111.

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

Kerr, A.M., Netchy, K. and Gawel, A.M. 2006. Survey of the Shallow Water Sea Cucumbers of the Central Philippines. University of Guam Marine Laboratory.

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.

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

Wen, J., Hu, C. and Fan, S. 2010. Chemical composition and nutritional quality of sea cucumbers. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 90: 2469–2474.

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

WoRMS. 2007. World Register of Marine Species. Available at:

Citation: Conand, C., Purcell, S. & Gamboa, R. 2013. Actinopyga caerulea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T180530A1644059. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided