Scientia Marina, Vol 76, No 4 (2012)

Reproductive biology of the sea cucumber Holothuria sanctori (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea)

Pablo G. Navarro
Instituto Canario de Ciencias Marinas - BIOGES, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , Spain

Sara García-Sanz
BIOGES, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , Spain

Fernando Tuya
BIOGES, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria , Spain


The reproductive biology of the sea cucumber Holothuria sanctori was studied over 24 months (February 2009 to January 2011) at Gran Canaria through the gonad index and a combination of macro- and microscopic analysis of the gonads. Holothuria sanctori showed a 1:1 sex ratio and a seasonal reproductive cycle with a summer spawning: the mean gonad index showed a maximum (3.99±0.02) in summer (June-July) and a minimum (0.05±0.04) between late autumn (November) and early spring (March). Females had significantly wider gonad tubules than males. First maturity occurred at a size of 201 to 210 mm, a gutted body weight of 101 to 110 g and a total weight of 176 to 200 g. Holothuria sanctori shows a typical temperate species reproduction pattern. These results could be useful for managing current extractions of H. sanctori in the Mediterranean and in case a specific fishery is started in the eastern Atlantic region.


Holothuria sanctori; sea cucumber; holothurians; reproduction; life-cycle; maturity; Canary Islands

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