Relationships between wet body weight, dry body weight and ash-free dry body weight (AFDW) were established for the aspidochirote sea cucumber Holothuria forskali (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea); a wetdry weight ratio of 6–38:1 was found. Length-weight relations were also determined. Low oxygen tensions and mechanical trauma induced H. forskali to eviscerate (70% of individuals tested). Respiratory measurements of intact and eviscerated sea cucumbers were determined at 17°C. For intact animals, oxygen consumption (ul h1) was directly related to AFDW (the slope of the regression line, b=0–60), whereas weight-specific oxygen consumption (Vo2; ul g1AFDW h) was inversely related to AFDW (b=0–54). Oxygen consumption of eviscerated sea cucumbers was independent of AFDW (b=0-\5), but Vo 2 was inversely related to AFDW (t–0–85). There were no significant differences between the respiratory rates of intact and eviscerated individuals, indicating that H. forskali is not so dependent upon respiratory trees for oxygen uptake as previously assumed.