MarLIN

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

Brown sea cucumber (Aslia lefevrei)

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

Researched byMarisa Sabatini Refereed byAdmin
Authority(Barrois, 1882)
Other common names- SynonymsCucumaria lefevrei , Cucumaria normani (Barrois, 1882)

Summary

Description

Aslia lefevrei is a sausage-shaped sea cucumber that can grow up to 15 cm in length. The largest on record was 18 cm long. It varies in colour from brown to white but it darkens to black or grey when exposed to light. It has 10 mottled black or grey tentacles around the mouth. It is these tentacles that can be seen protruding from crevices. Their tentacles can account for up to 10 cm of their body length. It has five distinct rows of tube feet and the area at the base of the tentacles (introvert) is dark brown. It has a layer of small basket like spicules just below the surface of the skin. Dense groups have been recorded at more than 70 per sq. metre.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found in the Shetland Islands, Berwick-upon-Tweed, the south-east in Worthing, west Sussex but predominently on the west coasts of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Global distribution

West coasts of the the British Isles and the Atlantic coast of France.

Habitat

Can be found under stones and in rock crevices, in areas of moderate water movement and clean water conditions. Their habitat extends from the lower shore into the sublittoral to 50 m.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Leathery cylindrical body (tough skin).
  • Eight of their tentacles are long with two smaller ones.
  • Five rows of tube feet.
  • Spicules are knobbly with four holes.
  • Varies in colour from brown to white, however it darkens to black or grey when exposed to light.

Additional information

Aslia lefevrei is often found with the sea cucumber Pawsonia saxicola with which it is often confused. However Pawsonia saxicola has a white smooth-skinned body, flattened spicules and a different arrangement of tube feet. The tube feet of Pawsonia saxicola are arranged in double longitudinal rows ventrally and smaller dorsal rows in a zigzag series.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

Search on:

NBN WoRMS

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. 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

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

  6. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  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:

Sabatini, M. 2008. Aslia lefevrei Brown sea cucumber. 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/2011

Last Updated: 02/09/2008