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Phylum Echinodermata > Class Holothuroidea
Sea apple sea cucumber
Pseudocolochirus violaceus
Family Cucumariidae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This amazing technicolour sea cucumber is sometimes seen on our Northern shores, among seagrasses or attached to rubble.

Features: 10-20cm long. Body long or spherical with five rows of yellow tube feet, but the two rows on the upper side of the body are usually less distinct. It is usually red on the upperside, shading to lilac and white to the underside. The mouth is ringed with blue. During low tide, it retracts its colourful feeding tentacles. When relaxed, the normal shape is short and sausage-like as with most other sea cucumbers. When stressed, however, it may inflate itself into a large round ball.

Human uses: These beautiful sea cucumbers unfortunately are harvested for the aquarium trade. Ironically, they do not make good aquarium specimens as they are often toxic to their tank mates.

Status and threats: This sea cucumber is listed as 'Vulnerable' on the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore.

Changi, May 10
Colourful feeding tentacles.

Chek Jawa, May 02


Yellow tube feet.

Sea apple sea cucumbers on Singapore shores

Photos of Sea apple sea cucumbers for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Changi Loyang, May 17
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

  • Sea apples on Aquarium Invertebrates by Dr Rob Toonen on the Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine: details the toxic nature and low success rate of keeping these animals in captivity.
  • Pseudocolochirus violaceus (Dendrochirotida: Cucumariidae) Sea Apple Cucumber by Lee Sui Kei Rachel, 2016, on taxo4254.
  • Pseudocolochirus violaceus on SeaLife Base: Technical fact sheet.
  • Lane, David J.W. and Didier Vandenspiegel. 2003. A Guide to Sea Stars and Other Echinoderms of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 187pp.
  • Davison, G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
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