Whidbey Island Beachwatchers
 

Intertidal Organisms EZ-ID GUIDES

 

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Cucumaria miniata (Red sea cucumber)

photo of red sea cucumber
Copyright © 2005 Mary Jo Adams

Because this sea cucumber tends to live with most of its body curled up in a crevice, you're likely to see only the extended tentacles if it is covered by water, or if not, a very small portion of its body.   The body is 4-10 inches in length and has 5 rows of tube feet.   Color is somewhat variable; although often brick red, the animal may also be pinkish white, purple, or reddish brown.   It has 10 orange tentacles of equal length that it uses to collect small particles of detritus and plankton from the water.   The tentacles are drawn into the mouth one at a time to "lick" off the nourishment.  

 

This animal is found in rocky areas from the low intertidal zone to a depth of 700 feet.   

 

Cucumaria miniata is preyed on by Solaster stimpsoni and other sea stars.   Another common name for it is red sea gherkin.   

 

This page was created by Mary Jo Adams on 11/19/05.

 

 

photo of red sea cucumber

photo of red sea cucumber