How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Cucumaria pallida is of similar size and feeds in a similar manner but it has white oral tentacles.
Geographical Range: From Sitka, Alaska to Monterey Co., California
Depth Range: Low intertidal to 100m deep
Habitat: In cobble and rocky areas, living between rocks and in crevices.
Biology/Natural History: C. miniata uses its oral tentacles to trap small organisms and detritus suspended in the water. Undisturbed animals may have the body curved into a U shape, so that both the mouth and anus are exposed to moving water. The tentacles can retract rapidly if disturbed. C. miniata is predated on by the sea stars Dermasterias imbricata, Solaster stimpsoni, and S. endeca. Kelp greenling fish sometimes nip the oral tentacles. Tests have shown that neither the body wall nor the viscera are toxic to fish. Eggs, embryos, and larvae are orange in color. The larvae have been found in the plankton of the Puget Sound during the months of March and April.
This species sometimes contains an internal parasitic
dogieli, which appears as a coiled, egg-filled tube.
Larry R. and Benjamin G. Miner, 2006. Estimation
of egg provisioning in marine invertebrates. Integrative and
Biology 46:3 pp 224-232
General Notes and Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors, etc.:
Authors and Editors of Page:
Kelly Williams (2002): Created original page
Edited by Hans Helmstetler 12-2002, Dave Cowles 2005