This cucumber is usually
white, yellowish, or orange-pink, with purple, brown, or black speckles
on its body. The speckles may be mostly on the anterior end,
especially on the buccal tentacles (photo).
in 5 approximately equally-spaced, double longitudinal rows (photo).
The skin is smooth. The ten buccal
tentacles are bushy and branched (photo).
Length to 12 cm.
Cucumaria piperata (Stimpson, 1864)
Common name(s): Peppered sea
cucumber, Salt and pepper sea
|Cucumaria piperata, 12 cm long, from
10 m depth at Northwest
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles,
How to Distinguish from
Similar Species: Cucumaria
miniata grows larger, is brown or orange, and is
may be similar in color but are usually smaller and have no speckles.
Islands, BC to Baja California (reported sightings south of Puget Sound
may actually be of Pseudocnus lubricus).
Subtidal to 137 m
Wedged between and under
rocks and cobble
History: A suspension
in spring in Puget Sound.
Eggs are olive-green and float when released; larvae are
Body wall (but not the viscera) is toxic to fish such as kelp greenling
and gunnels but apparently not to seastars. May contain the
and Fairbanks, 1966
and Carlton, 1975
et al., 1980
and O'Clair, 1998
et al., 1985
Arndt, A., C. Marquez, P. Lambert, and M.J. Smith, 1966.
phylogeny of eastern Pacific sea cucumbers (Echinodermata:
based on mitochondrial DNA sequence. Molecular Phylogenetics
Evolution 6(3): 425-437
General Notes and
Observations: Locations, abundances,
The ten buccal tentacles are branched. Photo by Dave Cowles,
The tube feet are in rows down the body. Photo by Dave
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2005): Created original page