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Thelenota rubralineata Graces Gorontalo Reefs
Thelenota rubralineata, the Ruby-striped sea cucumber, lives in selected dive sites in Gorontalo. This beautiful sea cucumber does not occur in abundance anywhere in Indo-Pacific waters.
Distribution of a Beautiful Sea Cucumber
The Ruby-lined sea cucumber lives at a few Gorontalo dive sites. It prefers sandy areas between dense coral ridges. Only occasionally will one crawl over Gorontalo’s hard coral colonies. Also, this sea cucumber rarely ventures above 15 meters. Miguel’s Diving staff have not seen it below 30 meters. So, its environment in limited.
Throughout the Indo-Pacific region, Thelenota rubralineata is uncommon. However, it enjoys wide distribution. Researchers have found it in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Guam, New Caledonia, the Philippines, Indonesia, the South China Sea, Fiji, and Palau.
Thelenota rubralineata, a Recent Species
Surprisingly, Thelenota rubralineata is a recently described species. Two researchers, Massin and Lane, found it in Micronesia and described it officially in 1991. Sea cucumbers of the Thelenota genus have an internal ring of plates. This ring is called a calcareous ring. It is located between the mouth and stomach.
Thelenota rubralineata has a distinct external appearance. Various spiked protrusions occur over its back. Their tips are yellowish. Multiple small spikes occur randomly on its sides. The mazes of red lines cover its whitish back and sides. Underneath, the Ruby-lined sea cucumber has tiny feet called pedicels. These are semi-sticky. Thelenota rubralineata moves by contracting and extending its body. This beautiful cucumber has a soft body and is not venomous. Its usual size is 30 to 40 centimeters long. Its maximum size is 50 cm.
Some people use Red-striped sea cucumber as a common name, although it clearly has no stripes. Reflecting its Latin name, Miguel’s Diving staff call it Ruby-lined.
For your chance to see this beautiful sea cucumber for yourself, please make your dive reservations and join us for some great diving.