Greenfish(Stichopus chloronotus)

Meal Time

  Holothurians are detritivores and particulate-feeders, meaning they feed on particulate matter floating throughout their environment or particulate matter found in the bottom sediment of the ocean floor.  They usually feed on microscopic organisms, such as plankton, micro-algae, and organic debris. There are two feeding strategies that holothurians have developed in order to filter out such a small food source.  The first one is suspension feeding which requires the organism to filter particles from the water around it. In order to accomplish this, the organism uses its tentacles or extensions of its podia.

Since Stichopus chloronotus spends the majority of its life lying on the ocean floor with its mouth facing downwards, it utilizes another strategy for feeding know as deposit feeding. This strategy requires the
organism to “shovel” sediment into its mouth, using the tentacles located around its mouth.  It then digests out the organic matter from the rest of the sediment, and after the organic matter has been removed from the digestive tract, the remaining sediment is then expelled from the posterior end of the organism. This form of feeding has been said to help with the recycling of sediments on the ocean floor, somewhat comparable to what an earthworm does for the soil in a terrestrial environment. In order to distribute the nutrients absorbed from the intestinal tract the organism possesses a system of channels and sinuses called the blood lacunar or hemal system.

Now learn more about how Stichopus chloronotus reproduces!

Or, return to my home page.