White Teatfish (species: Holothuria (Microthele) fuscogilva) in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Holothuria (Microthele) fuscogilva
White Teatfish

©Lyle Vail: Holothuria (Microthele) fuscogilva at an outer reef near Cod Hole

©Anne Hoggett: Holothuria (Microthele) fuscogilva off beach north of Coconut Beach, Lizard Island, 24 metres depth (specimen 1)

©Anne Hoggett: Holothuria (Microthele) fuscogilva off beach north of Coconut Beach, Lizard Island, 24 metres depth (specimen 2).
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Echinodermata
Class Holothuroidea
Order Aspidochirotida
Family Holothuriidae
Genus Holothuria
Species Holothuria (Microthele) fuscogilva



Distinguishing features

Holothuria (Microthele) fuscogilva is a large solid holothurian with a distinctive colour pattern. There are often several protrusions around the edge of the body where the flat underside meets the steeply-rising sides, giving the species its common name of White Teatfish within the trepang industry. Body shape is similar in Holothuria (Microthele) whitmaei but the two are readily distinguished by the colour pattern. Holothuria (Microthele) fuscogilva is always mottled with white and black while H. whitmaei is completely black. Both species are valuable as edible trepang.


  • Size data has not been obtained.

Depth range

  • From 15 m



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Holothuria (Microthele) fuscogilva is found only in water deeper than about 15 metres on sandy bottoms throughout the Lizard Island region.

Web resources


  • Cannon, L.R.G. and H. Silver (1986). Sea Cucumbers of Northern Australia Queensland Museum, Brisbane. LIRS catalog number 229.
  • Rowe, F.W.E. and J. Gates (1995). Echinodermata in: Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 33, xiii, 510 pp. Wells, A. (Ed.). CSIRO, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Uthicke, S., T.D. O'Hara and M. Byrne (2004). Species composition and molecular phylogeny of the Indo-Pacific teatfish (Echinodermata: Holothurioidea) beche-de-mer fishery, Marine and Freshwater Research, 55: 837-848. LIRS catalog number 1034.
  • View all references