Common name: Red Footed Sea Cucumber

Scientific name: Pentacta pygmaea

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Echinodermata

Class: Holotharoidea

Order: Dendrochirotida

Family: Cucumariidae

Genus: Pentacta

Species: P. pygmaea

5.jpg

This creature is a small brown holothurian, which clings to rocks and seaweed with extraordinary large tube feet. Its size ranges from 4 to 6 centimeters. It is the abundance of ossicles in the body wall that makes it stiffer than most of the other sea cucumbers. This animal adapted to clinging. When kept in an aquarium they will climb the glass wall to the water level. The red-footed cucumbers are usually seen adhering to rocks seaweed and grass. They are also found in clear, high saline water. They use their strong tube feet to move around their habitat.

 

There are several animals that will prey on P. pygaea. Some of these predators are sea stars, gastropods, crustaceans, fish, and sometimes humans. They are very venerable in their larval stage. In an attempt to avoid being eaten the red-footed cucumber will expel its inner organs and they will regenerate them later.

 

They feed by trapping particles out of the water with mucus-covered tentacles. The tentacles are then pushed in the mouth the ingest the food. Branched buccal tentacles surround the mouth. From the mouth, the food travels to the esophagus and then the foregut and finally to the intestine where digestion occurs.

 

Author: Damion R

Published: 05/2008

 

Sources:

 

Photo Credit: