How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Looks almost identical to E. pseudoquinquesemita. The subtle differences are that E. pseudoquinquesemita has finer and more abundant tube feet with a broad space between the ambulacra. Its body is also softer (less rigid support from calcareous elements). E. pseudoquinquesemita has the large, oval ossicles in the skin but lacks the smaller, basket-shaped ossicles found in E. quinquesemita. E. quinquesemita is more abundant in British Columbia (and south?) while E. pseudoquinquesemita is more abundant in Alaska. If the cucumber is buried and only the white oral tentacles are exposed, it could be confused with Cucumaria pallida. However, C. pallida has 10 oral tentacles of approximately equal length while E. quinquesemita has 8 long and 2 short.
Geographical Range: Sitka, Alaska to Baja California; Japan
Depth Range: Low intertidal to 55 m
Habitat: Under and between rocks and in crevices. Often found in areas of strong current.
History: E. quinquesemita
is eaten by the sea stars Solaster
helianthoides, and Dermasterias
imbricata, and juvenile Eupentacta
are a staple food for
hexactis. Adults rarely expose their
tentacles during daylight
hours. Typically have bits of shell and other materials
here and there to the tube
feet. Spawning occurs in the spring (March to
is indirect. Eggs, embryos, and larvae are greenish in
The body wall is poisonous to at least some fish. This
seasonally in the fall. Thyonicola americana
is a shell-less
snail that parasitizes the gut.
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 2013