MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Sea gherkin (Pawsonia saxicola)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

Pawsonia saxicola is up to 15 cm in length with a cylindrical body. The body is white in colour, however, it darkens on exposure to light. Tube feet are arranged into 5 rows longitudinally. The skin is smooth, with button like deposits. Star shaped spicules are found in the outer layers of skin. It has 10 mottled black, tree like feeding tentacles, up to 10 cm in length around the mouth.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Pawsonia saxicola is found on the south and west coasts of the British and Ireland.

Global distribution

Pawsonia saxicola is found on the Atlantic coast of France southwards to the Azores.

Habitat

Pawsonia saxicola is found in rock crevices and under boulders from the lower shore to about 50 m.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Cylindrical white body, up to 15 cm in length.
  • 5 rows of long tube feet.
  • Star shaped spicules.
  • 10 mottled black tentacles, up to 10 cm in length)
  • Found in rock crevices and beneath boulders.

Additional information

Pawsonia saxicola may be confused with Aslia lefevrei as both species have similar tentacles. However, Pawsonia saxicola has a distinctive white body, while the body of Aslia lefevrei is brown in colour.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. Hyman, L.V., 1955. The Invertebrates: Vol. IV. Echinodermata. The coelomate Bilateria. New York: McGraw Hill.

  5. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  6. Mortensen, T.H., 1927. Handbook of the echinoderms of the British Isles. London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press.

  7. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin., http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/

  8. Picton, B.E., 1993. A field guide to the shallow-water echinoderms of the British Isles. London: Immel Publishing Ltd.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Ager, O.E.D. 2007. Pawsonia saxicola Sea gherkin. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1690

Last Updated: 07/06/2007