Bohadschia argus

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Bohadschia argus
Bohadschia argus.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Echinodermata
Class: Holothuroidea
Order: Aspidochirotida
Family: Holothuriidae
Genus: Bohadschia
Species: B. argus
Binomial name
Bohadschia argus
Jaeger, 1833 [1]
Synonyms

Holothuria argus Jaeger, 1833

Bohadschia argus, the leopard sea cucumber, is a species of marine invertebrate in the family Holothuriidae. It is the type species of the genus Bohadschia; Jaeger, 1833.

Description[edit]

Emperor shrimp on Bohadschia argus

Bohadschia argus is sausage-shaped with a smooth, tough, leathery skin and can grow to 2 feet (0.61 m) in length. It is a greyish-brown colour, paler below, with distinctive dark eye-spots surrounded by white haloes. There are several rows of tube feet on the underside. Surrounding the mouth at the anterior end is a ring of paddle-shaped, black tentacles fringed with white. The anus, at the posterior end, has cuvierian tubules situated at its base which are readily ejected as sticky threads if the animal is disturbed or handled. These contain toxins which deter predators and are irritating to human skin.[2][3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Bohadschia argus is found in the Western Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Its range extends from Madagascar, the Seychelles and Sri Lanka to Malaysia and the South Pacific Islands.[4] It is found on coral reefs and on exposed, sandy areas of the seabed [2] at depths of between 10 feet (3.0 m) and 120 feet (37 m).[5]

Biology[edit]

Bohadschia argus is an omnivore. As it moves across the seabed, it sweeps sand grains and detritus into its mouth using its sticky tentacles. It obtains some nourishment from the biofilm that coats the grains.[3]

Ecology[edit]

Fish of the species Carapus mourlani are sometimes found living in the coelomic cavity of Bohadschia argus; the fish enter through the anus, either going in head first or more frequently tail first. In a study in the Banda Islands in the South Moluccan Sea, 15 individual fish were found to be inhabiting the body of one sea cucumber 40 centimetres (16 in) in length.[6]

The small emperor shrimp (Periclimenes imperator) is often associated with Bohadschia argus and may help keep it clear of ectoparasites.

Uses[edit]

A new triterpene glycoside, Arguside A, has been extracted from the tissues of Bohadschia argus. This compound appears to exhibit cytotoxicity against several different types of human tumour cells.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paulay, Gustav (2010). "Bohadschia argus Jaeger, 1833". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  2. ^ a b Bohadschia argus North Australian Sea Cucumbers. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
  3. ^ a b Bohadschia argus DiveGallery. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
  4. ^ Bohadschia genus WetWebMedia. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
  5. ^ Leopard sea cucumber Florent’s guide to the tropical reefs. Retrieved 2012-01-18.
  6. ^ Meyer-Rochow, VB (1977). "Comparison between 15 Caropus mourlani in a single Holothurian and 19 C. mourlani from starfish". Copeia 1977 (3): 582. JSTOR 1443286. 
  7. ^ Liu, Bao-Shu et al. (2007). "Arguside A: A New Cytotoxic Triterpene Glycoside from the Sea Cucumber Bohadschia argus". Chemistry & Biodiversity 4 (12): 2845–2851. doi:10.1002/cbdv.200790234.