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Albinism in Orange-footed Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa) in Newfoundland

Emaline M. Montgomery, Tiffany Small, Jean-Francois Hamel, Annie Mercier

Abstract


Orange-footed Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa; Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) is a dark-brown species that is broadly distributed in North Atlantic and Arctic waters. Here, we document the rare occurrence of colour morphs showing various degrees of albinism, from totally white to faint orange pigmentation. These unusually coloured individuals were found across a broad distribution range in eastern Canada and northeastern United States, with their occurrence in Newfoundland samples ranging from 0.2% to 0.5%. Two fully albino individuals were noticeably smaller than other colour morphs. The occurrence of rare, unusually coloured sea cucumbers is important from an ecological standpoint and may also have commercial implications.


Keywords


Orange-footed Sea Cucumber; Cucumaria frondosa; albinism; colour diversity; Holothuroidea; sea cucumber; North Atlantic

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v133i2.2047



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