Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-jcwnq Total loading time: 0.201 Render date: 2021-10-19T07:18:07.324Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Bioluminescence in the benthopelagic holothurian Enypniastes eximia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2009

Bruce H. Robison
Affiliation:
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Pacific Grove, California 93950, USA

Abstract

Enypniastes eximia (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea) is a prominent member of the benthic boundary layer community in deep Caribbean waters. Like most holothurians it feeds on benthic sediments. Feeding is episodic and after collecting food on the bottom it returns to the water column at altitudes within about 50 m of the sea floor. Direct observations from submersibles and laboratory studies of living specimens have shown how bioluminescence is produced. Light production in E. eximia is triggered mechanically, and is produced by hundreds of granular bodies within the gelatinous integument of the animal. Local stimulation yields a localized response which gradually spreads to the entire surface of the animal. Broad impact yields a whole-body luminescent response. The integument of E. eximia is quite fragile, and strong physical contact readily causes the skin to be sloughed off in a glowing cloud. The degree of luminous response is a function of the severity of contact. In the laboratory the skin of E. eximia, along with its luminescent capability, regenerated rapidly. The anti-predatory role of bioluminescence in this species is apparently a ‘burglar alarm’ strategy. In the dark, near-bottom habitat, physical contact by a predator elicits light production which reveals the presence of the attacker to its own visually-cued predators.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1992

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Billett, D.S.M., Hansen, B. & Huggett, Q.J., 1985. Pelagic Holothuroidea (Echinodermata) of the northeast Atlantic. In Echinodermata (ed. B.F., Keegan and B.D.S., O'connor), pp. 399411. Rotterdam: Balkema.Google Scholar
Buck, J.B., 1978. Functions and evolutions of bioluminescence. In Bioluminescence in action (ed. P.J., Herring), pp. 419460. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Burkenroad, M.D., 1943. A possible function of bioluminescence. Journal of Marine Research, 5, 161164.Google Scholar
Hansen, B. & Madsen, F.J., 1956. On two bathypelagic holothurians from the South China Sea. Galatheathuria n.g. aspera (Theel) and Enypniastes globosa n. sp. Galathea Report, 2, 5559.Google Scholar
Harvey, E.N., 1952. Bioluminescence. New York: Academic Press.Google ScholarPubMed
Herring, P.J., 1974. New observations of the bioluminescence of echinoderms. Journal of Zoology, 172, 401418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Herring, P.J., 1976. Bioluminescence in deep sea echinoderms. Contributions in biological oceanography. Edinburgh: Joint Oceanographic Assembly.Google Scholar
Herring, P.J., 1978. Bioluminescence on invertebrates other than insects. In Bioluminescence in action (ed. P.J., Herring), pp. 199240. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
McAllister, D.E., 1961. A collection of oceanic fishes from off British Columbia with a discussion of the evolution of black peritoneum. Bulletin. National Museum of Canada, 172, 3943.Google Scholar
Mensinger, A.F. & Case, J.F., 1990. Secondary luminescence increases susceptibility of zooplankton to teleost predation. Eos, 71, 1404.Google Scholar
Miller, J.E. & Pawson, D.L., 1990. Swimming sea cucumbers (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea): a survey, with analysis of swimming behavior in four bathyal species. Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences, 35, 118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Morin, J.G., 1983. Coastal bioluminescence: patterns and functions. Bulletin of Marine Science, 33, 787817.Google Scholar
Murray, J. & Hjort, J., 1912. The depths of the ocean. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
Ohta, S., 1985. Photographic observations of the swimming behavior of the deep-sea pelagothuriid holothurian Enypniastes (Elasipoda, Holothuroidea). Journal of the Oceanographical Society of Japan, 41, 121133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pawson, D.L., 1982. Deep-sea echinoderms in the Tongue of the Ocean, Bahama Islands: a survey using the research submersible ‘Alvin’. Memoirs of the Australian Museum, 16, 129145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Porter, K.G. & Porter, J.W., 1979. Bioluminescence in marine plankton: a coevolved antipredation system. American Naturalist, 114, 458461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tett, P.B. & Kelly, M.G., 1973. Marine bioluminescence. Oceanography and Marine Biology. Annual Review. London, 11, 89173.Google Scholar
Widder, E.A., Bernstein, S.A., Bracher, D.F., Case, J.F., Reisenbichler, K.R., Torres, J.J. & Robison, B.H., 1989. Bioluminescence in the Monterey Submarine Canyon: image analysis of video recordings from a mid water submersible. Marine Biology, 100, 541551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Young, R.E., 1983. Oceanic bioluminescence: an overview of general functions. Bulletin of Marine Science, 33, 829845.Google Scholar
12
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Bioluminescence in the benthopelagic holothurian Enypniastes eximia
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Bioluminescence in the benthopelagic holothurian Enypniastes eximia
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Bioluminescence in the benthopelagic holothurian Enypniastes eximia
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *