apple sea cucumber
seen? This amazing technicolour sea cucumber is sometimes
seen on our undisturbed Northern shores, attached to coral 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
Changi, May 10
Colourful feeding tentacles.
Chek Jawa, May 02
Yellow tube feet.
apple sea cucumbers on Singapore shores
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.
- Lane, David
J.W. and Didier Vandenspiegel. 2003. A
Guide to Sea Stars and Other Echinoderms of Singapore.
Singapore Science Centre. 187pp.
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.