Description and phylogenetic relationships of a new genus of sea cucumbers from Australia, with two new combinations (Holothuroidea, Stichopodidae)

  • Sau Pinn WooEmail author
  • Hiroshi Kajihara
  • Maria Byrne
  • Toshihiko Fujita
Original Paper


A new genus of Holothuroidea, Notostichopus, from Australia is described and its phylogenetic relationship examined. The new genus is based on two species within the family Stichopodidae, previously attributed to Stichopus. Notostichopus is characterized by the absence of rosette ossicles and the presence of table ossicles with at most one crossbeam in dorsal body wall. The two species revised here (N. ludwigi and N. ellipes) are distributed in the shallow, tropical, and temperate waters of Australia. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that this genus is closely related to the genera Isostichopus and Stichopus but is distinct based on ossicles and phylogenetic analyses. We describe the ossicle assemblages of both species.


Echinodermata Notostichopus Taxonomy Stichopus Ossicles 



We would like to sincerely thank Australian Museum and Museum of Comparative Zoology for granting the permission and loan of materials for this study. We would also want to thank members from the Department of Natural History Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University, National Museum of Nature and Science, Japan, and Mr. Akito Ogawa and Mr. Mikihito Arai for their kind assistance.


This study was funded by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and NRCT (Acore-COMSEA Program and Core-to-Core Program, B. Asia-Africa Science Platforms), two special grants from the Director-General of National Museum of Nature and Science (International collaboration to promote taxonomy and phylogeny of echinoderms in Southeast Asia, and Collaborative research and collection building of marine invertebrates in Southeast Asia), and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: IOC-WESTPAC (304/PB/650691/T126).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Sampling and field studies

All necessary permits for sampling and observational field studies have been obtained by the authors from the competent authorities and are mentioned in the acknowledgements, if applicable.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article and/or available in the GenBank sequence database.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Marine and Coastal StudiesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia
  2. 2.School of Medical and Biological Sciences, F13 Anderson StuartThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Department of ZoologyNational Museum of Nature and ScienceIbarakiJapan

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