Pawson, D. L. (1970). The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Sea Cucumbers (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea). Mem. N.Z. oceanogr. Inst. 52: 1-69.
Pawson, D. L.
The Marine Fauna of New Zealand: Sea Cucumbers (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea).
Mem. N.Z. oceanogr. Inst.
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The New Zealand holothurian fauna now comprises 49 species belonging to 36 genera. All orders of the Class Holothuroidea occur in New Zealand, and the Dendrochirotida, Elasipodida, and Apodida are particularly well represented. The fauna is reviewed here, the report being based upon a total of J ,J 21 specimens in the collections of the New Zealand Oceanographic Institute, the Dominion Museum, and other institutions. Keys are given to all taxa, and a general key to the species is given. One new family is diagnosed to accommodate the New Zealand genus Heterothyone. Notable features of the fauna are the high incidence of primitive (U-shaped) species and the presence of only one conspicuous species (Stichopus mollis (Hutton)) in the intertidal zone. The holothurians do not demonstrate provincial distribution patterns as convincingly as do the asteroids and echinoids. Twelve species have been collected in the intertidal zone; of these seven extend to the continental shelf or slope. Of the 27 species known from the continental shelf, 14 range into bathyal depths. In the bathyal zone 31 species occur, of which 17 are apparently restricted to those depths. Relationships and origin of the fauna are difficult to determine in the absence of a fossil record. At the species level 83 % of the shelf holothurians are restricted to the New Zealand region. Four species are shared with Australia, and one with Juan Fernandez Island. In contrast, approximately 45 % of the shelf echinoids are shared with Australia. The genera represented in the fauna are mainly widespread in world seas, and thus offer no conclusive evidence of affinities of the New Zealand fauna. It is concluded that, as many other invertebrate groups in the New Zealand fauna are obviously derived chiefly from the Australian-lndo-Pacific region, the holothurians also were probably derived from the same source.