Holothuria atra is a black sea cucumber commonly found on the sandy bottom of Okinawan coral reefs. The body surface of H. atra is usually covered with sand; however, sand never covers the body of another black congener, Holothuria leucospilota, which is sympatrically distributed with H. atra. The epidermal structures were examined in these two species by means of transmission electron microscopy to determine how sand adheres to the surface of H. atra. While the epidermis was basically composed of support cells bearing microvilli and vacuolated cells probably corresponding to mucus cells, two types of granular cells, type 1 and 2, were also found at the tip of the tube feet. These granular cells were closely similar in structure to secretory cells that have been supposed to secrete adhesive substances in other holothurians. Type 1 granular cells were also found in the dorsal epidermis of H. atra but not in H. leucospilota. Therefore, adhesive secretion by type 1 granular cells probably enables the attachment of sand to the H. atra body.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 38 • No. 3