Stichopus herrmanni


Name: Stichopus herrmanni

Common name: Curryfish

Local name:

Scientific name: Stichopus herrmanni

Classification: Class – sea cucumbers, Holothuroidea; order – Aspidochirotida; family – stichopodids, Stichopodidae

Synonym: This species was known as Stichopus variegatus, which is now regarded as a synonym of Stichopus horrens.

Size: The animals grow to a maximum length of about 55 cm, but are commonly around 35 cm long, with a mean live weight of about 1 kg which can increase up to 2.5 kg.


The Curryfish is a shallow-water species occurring from near the surface to a depth of about 25 m. It lives in seagrass beds, among coral assemblages, rubbles, and muddy sand bottoms. Populations usually do not reach high densities, because the species reaches sexual maturity rather late and fecundity is low.


This species is widespread throughout the Indo-West Pacific, ranging from East Africa, the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, to Indonesia and Australia.

Conservation status:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species classifies Stichopus herrmanni as Vulnerable (VU) in its global assessment. This is a medium-value species that is commercially exploited throughout its range, with fishing pressure and declines in population having occurred since the 1960s. Curryfish


When seen in cross-section Stichopus herrmanni has a square body shape and is flattened ventrally. The body is covered with eight prominent longitudinal rows of conical warts with smaller papillae in between. The mouth is ventral and surrounded by a circle of conical papillae and 20 yellowish tentacles. The anus is terminal. Coloration varies from yellow or brownish to greenish, with black spots.