Warty Sea Cucumber

(Parastichopus parvimensis)

Species description at bottom of this page


Note mouth...
© Bob Gladden


© 2001 Paul Foretic


© Will Molay


Found from Monterey to Cedros Island, Baja Calif, from the low intertidal zone to 64 meters depth, with a more southerly distribution than the sea cucumber P. californicus. Uncommon north of Point Conception. Up to 25 centimeters long. Brownish or reddish-brown in color, with numerous small fleshy black-tipped warts (papillae), 3-6 large papillae, and tube feet on its underside. Somewhat smaller than P. californicus. Creeps rapidly, about one meter in fifteen minutes. Feeds on the organic detritus and small organisms in soft sediments. No known predators. A scale worm Arctonoe pulchra may be found on its body.

Sea cucumbers are soft-bodied wormlike echinoderms, having a body cylinder with a mouth at one end encircled by tentacles, and the anus at the other. They have the basic echinoderm radial symmetry, but no arms, and the echinoderm skeleton is reduced to small, scattered calcareous bonelike plates, and is usually flexible. Sea cucumbers have a water-vascular system, with or without tube feet, and respiratory trees inside the anus.

--Peter Brueggeman