How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Cucumaria miniata grows larger, is brown or orange, and is not speckled. Eupentacta species may be similar in color but are usually smaller and have no speckles.
Geographical Range: Queen Charlotte Islands, BC to Baja California (reported sightings south of Puget Sound may actually be of Pseudocnus lubricus).
Depth Range: Subtidal to 137 m
Habitat: Wedged between and under rocks and cobble
Biology/Natural History: A suspension feeder. Spawns in spring in Puget Sound. Eggs are olive-green and float when released; larvae are orange. Body wall (but not the viscera) is toxic to fish such as kelp greenling and gunnels but apparently not to seastars. May contain the pea crab Pinnixa faba.
Flora and Fairbanks, 1966
Kozloff 1987, 1996
Smith and Carlton, 1975
Emlet, Richard B., 1994. Body forms and patterns of ciliation in nonfeeding larvae of echinoderms: functional solutions to swimming in the plankton? American Zoologist 34: pp. 570-585
General Notes and Observations: Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors:
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2005): Created original page