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Phylum Echinodermata > Class Holothuroidea
Sea apple sea cucumber
Pseudocolochirus violaceus
Family Cucumariidae
updated Apr 2020
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 tube feet that are bright yellow long slender, but the two rows on the upper side of the body are usually less distinct. Body usually red on the upperside, shading to lilac and white to the underside. The mouth is ringed with blue. Feeding tentacles red, branched tips may be tinged purple, yellow and white. During low tide, it retracts its colourful feeding tentacles. Anus is surrounded by five tiny teeth-like structures that are bright yellow. 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.

Changi, May 10

Colourful feeding tentacles.

Small one.
Changi, Jun 19


Yellow tube feet.

Chek Jawa, May 02
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.

Sea apple sea cucumbers on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

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

Changi Loyang, Jun 23
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Changi Creek, Jun 20
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Chek Jawa, Jul 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Sekudu, Jul 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

East Coast PCN, Aug 23
Photo shared by Kelvin Yong 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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