talking points for nature guides
echinoderms text index | photo index
Phylum Echinodermata > Class Holothuroidea
Photo index of sea cucumbers on Singapore shores
long sea cucumbers >10cm

size given is for sea cucumber's length when relaxed

Ball sea cucumber
Phyllophorus sp.

sea cucumber

Acaudina sp.

sea cucumber

Paracaudina australis

sea cucumber

Actinopyga lecanora
10-15cm. Body spherical, sometimes elongated. Lots of short tube feet evenly all over its body. White, grey, brown, or even orange. Buried in sandy areas near seagrasses. Commonn on our Northern shores. 10-15cm. Body clindrical, smooth and slimy. Orange, purple, brown with spots all over. Often half buried in sandy areas near seagrasses. Commonly seen on our Northern shores. 10-15cm. Body smooth cylindrical. Thin transparent skin, possible to see its internal organs. In seagrass areas. Sometimes seen on Chek Jawa. 15-20cm. Body long sausage-like or short loaf-shaped. Generally smooth with long tube feet sparsely distributed. Distinguished by white or grey area around the backside. Brown, yellow, white sometimes plain sometimes with blotches. Coral rubble, living hard and soft corals. Commonly seen on our Southern shores.  

Garlic bread
sea cucumber

Holothuria scabra

sea cucumber

Stichopus ocellata

sea cucumber

Stichopus herrmanni

sea cucumber

Stichopus vastus

sea cucumber

Stichopus horrens
15-20cm. Body long, loaf-shaped. Upperside darker brown or grey with faint black bars across. Underside flat and white or paler. Short tube feet. In seagrass areas sometimes half buried. Commonly seen on many of our shores with seagrasses. 15-20cm. Body long, loaf-shaped. Yellowish brown with 'eye-spots'. Underside flat and paler. Short tube feet. Near living reefs and in coral rubble. Sometimes seen at Pulau Semakau. 20-30cm, up to 50cm long. Body hard wrinkled without large bumps. Colour uniform sandy-brown or grey-green-brown. With scattered orange-brown papillae. Short tube feet on the flat underside. Sometimes seen at Pulau Semakau. 20-30cm. Body hard with large conical bumps in irregular rows. Colour sandy with darker patches and dark brown stripes. Short tube feet in three broad rows on the flat underside. Sometimes seen at Pulau Semakau. About 20cm long. Body long and angular. Upperside has soft spine-shaped structures. Underside is flat with lots of short tube feet. Greyish green. Among seagrasses. Seen once on Pulau Semakau.

Ashy pink
sea cucumber

Holothuria fuscocinerea

sea cucumber

Holothuria notabilis

sea cucumber

Holothuria impatiens

Black long
sea cucumber

Holothuria leucospilota
15-20cm. Body cylindircal, long. Light brown with little brown or pink spots. Coral rubble or living reefs. Sometimes seen on some of our Southern shores. 10-12cm. Body cylindrical. Pale with irregular chocolate blotches. Has a paler underside. Usually buried in sandy areas near seagrasses. Sometimes seen on our some of shores. 15-20cm. Body cylindrical, long with conical bumps. Grey bands on narrow portion, paler plain on broader portion. Sometimes seen hidden in rubble on some of our shores. 30-40cm can lengthen to 1m. Body cylindrical, very long with short tube feet all over. Usually under large stones or rocks. Dark brown, maroon to black. Commonly seen on our Southern shores. Sometimes seen on our Northern shores.  

Sea apple sea cucumber

sea cucumber

Bohadschia vitiensis

Big synaptid
sea cucumbers

Family Synaptidae
10-20cm. Body spherical, sometimes elongated. Orange or red upperside, violet underside with bright yellow tube feet. Blue ring around the mouth. May inflate into a rounded ball shape when distressed. On coral rubble. Sometimes seen on our Northern shores. 15-30cm. Body oval, yellowish with lots of little brown spots and tiny dark tube feet. May expell white tubules when disturbed. Among seagrasses. Seen on Cyrene Reef.   20-50cm. Very long, worm-like. With 4 rows of bumps along the body length. Brown or maroon. In seagrass meadows. Sometimes seen on some of our shores, usually alone. 20-30cm. Very long, worm-like, smooth (no bumps along the body length). White, pink, purplish. On mudflats or muddy shores near mangroves. Sometimes seen on some of our shores, usually alone.

These are NOT sea cucumbers

Peanut worm
Phylum Spincula

Acorn worm
Phylum Hemichordata
Class Enteropneusta

Sea anemone
Phylum Cnidaria

Flower sea pen
Phylum Cnidaria

Peacock anemone
Phylum Cnidaria

how to tell apart

photo index of
echinoderms on this site
Phylum Echinodermata
all echinoderms

With arms

  many, feathery
feather stars

five, bristley
brittle stars

sea stars
small <10cm
large >10cm

  flat, coin-like
sand dollars

spherical, spiny
sea urchins
heart urchins


  sea cucumbers
short <10cm
long >10cm
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