COLDWATER MARINE AQUATICS

Orange Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria miniata)

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Coldwater Marine Aquatics recommends you keep these animals in 55F-60F water.

Cucumaria miniata is commonly known as the orange sea cucumber due to its striking color. It its often found wedged in between rocks or crevices at the coast or on docks and can generally be identified by its orange bushy tentacles protruding above the substrate (Kozloff, 1993).

Description

Cucumaria miniata is generally orange or reddish brown. They are easily identifiable by their orange coloration and branching tentacles. The body is thick and has five rows of tube feet, separated by smooth, soft skin. Pentameric radial symmetry is present in the five equally spaced rows of feet. The ossicles, which are present in all Echinoderms, are small and scarcely scattered throughout the dermis. Respiration occurs through two aborescent tubes known as respiratory trees that are located in the coelom(Gotshall, 2005).

They have fifteen sets of feeding arms that fan out into bushy tentacles when fully extended and feed into the mouth which is controlled by a sphincter muscle. Their mouth and anus are at separate ends of the body resulting in a full digestive tract. The lower part of the body is generally wedged in a crevice so often the tentacles are the main part of the organism visible (Hyman, 1955).

Size

They can grow to 25 cm long with tentacles extended and can reach a diameter of 8 cm. The tentacles can reach a diameter of 15 cm.

Predators

Major predators include Solaster stimpsoni (the Sun Star), Luidia foliolata (the Sand Star), as well as other sea stars.

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