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Phylum Echinodermata > Class Holothuroidea
Herrmann's sea cucumber
Stichopus herrmanni
Family Stichopodidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This large sea cucumber is sometimes seen on Pulau Semakau, among coral rubble. It is also called the Curryfish as it is among the sea cucumbers that are edible and harvested for the restaurant trade. It was formerly known as S. variegatus. Elsewhere it prefers seagrass beds, rubble and sandy-muddy bottoms. Juveniles settle in reef flat zones and later migrate to other zones.

Features: 20-30cm, up to 50cm long. Body hard wrinkled but without large bumps. Colour uniform sandy-brown or grey-green-brown. Elsewhere, also light mustard-yellow to orangey-brown or brown and olive green. With scattered papillae that are orange-brown.
Short tube feet on the flat underside. Mouth on the underside with 8-16 stout green feeding tentacles.

Cucumber home: This sea cucumber is host to the pearlfish Carapus mourlani and Carapus homei.

Human uses: This is one of the sea cucumbers whose body fluids are harvested in Malaysia for 'Air Gamat', a local health tonic that believed to aid healing and other ailments. According to Choo, in Pulau Langkawi, the processing industry has depleted the resources of S. hermanni, which is now an endangered if not an extinct species in the vicinity of the Langkawi Islands. According to the IUCN Red List: "Although it is not one of the most important species (low value) for fishery purposes, it can may become more popular after the depletionof other species of higher commercial importance and value. Populations are estimated to be depleted and have declined by more than 60-90% in at least 50% of its range, as there is some refuge in deeper waters, and is considered over exploited in at least 40% of it range although exact declines are difficult to estimate."

Pulau Semakau, Dec 08

Photo by Yvonne Yeoh courtesy of Eric Leong.

Pulau Semakau, Aug 08

Herrmann's sea cucumbers on Singapore shores

Photos of Herrmann's sea cucumbers for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Terumbu Semakau, May 17
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.



  • Lane, David J.W. and Didier Vandenspiegel. 2003. A Guide to Sea Stars and Other Echinoderms of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 187pp.
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