Abstract

Density population and size structure of the sea cucumber Holothuria (Halodeima) grisea (Aspidochirotida: Holothuriidae) in shallow waters south of the gulf of Morrosquillo, Colombian Caribbean. Holothuria grisea, despite not being considered a commercial resource has been the subject of illegal extractions in Colombia, a fact that becomes more serious due to the empty of biological information of these organisms. For this reason the density population and size structure of H. grisea were evaluated in three sectors south of the gulf of Morrosquillo from April to November 2015. To this end, three circular transects were located each month in each sampling site covering an area of 300 m2, where individuals were counted and measured in situ. The average density of H. grisea in the study area was 0.4 ind m-2, with the highest values in the La Ahumadera (1.09 ± 0.11 ind m-2) and the lowest values in Banco de Arena (0.02 ± 0.004 ind m-2). The analysis of variance showed a significance in the values of density and size of H. grisea in the studied sectors. The species presented a unimodal distribution of sizes with an average size of 13.5 ± 0.9 cm with a minimum size of 2.5 and a maximum of 30 cm, intermediate sizes generally showed a higher representativeness throughout this study (77.2 %). The biological aspects presented in this paper are of great importance for the conservation of this species and corresponds to an advance in the knowledge of the Holothuroidea class in the Colombian Caribbean. Rev. Biol. Trop. 66(2): 776-787. Epub 2018 June 01.

 

 

Keywords: Aspidochirotida, Cispata Bay, echinoderms, marine invertebrate, Thalassia testudinum.