Hawaii Biological Survey's


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8. Sea Cucumber / weli

Scientific name: Opheodesoma spectabilis Fisher, 1907

Classification: Phylum: Echinodermata. Class: Holothuroidea

Origin: Native

Status: Reduced populations

Distribution: All the main islands

Sound file: --

Map: --

Sea cucumbers (weli in Hawaiian) are our “reef janitors”. They are bottom-dwellers and filter feeders and sift the sand to feed on the organic coatings of each grain. They have an unusual habit of vomiting out their entire insides if threatened. After escaping an enemy in this way, their organs regenerate after a few months. [ full story ]

   Photo © HBS