January 18, 2002
From: Matt Rains
I would like some help in identifying this critter. It has been in my tank for 8 months. I suspect that it arrived on some live rock that i purchased around the same time i first saw it.
The first time i saw it the body measured 5cm long and was semi-transparent. At the time the photographs were taken last week the body measured 18cm long and 4.5cm wide. It is no longer semi-transparent.
It only comes out at night. I have seen it on the sandbed, reef and also the glass. As it has become larger it has begun to explore more. The anus(?) is sensitive to light. The rest of the body including the head(?) is not. I live in Adelaide, South Australia but the i assume the live rock came from Queensland. I could find out at the LFS if this helps.
email@example.comRains, M., 2002 (Jan 18) Please help with this ID. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/6014
Your animal is a Sea Cucumber (Holothurian) which you'll see from the Fact Sheet and other messages on this page are related to Starfish and Sea Urchins. Sea Cucumbers have a circle of sticky branching tentacles around their mouth which they use to collect up organic particles, which they eat, from the surface of the sand and rocks. Your animal is clearly very happy in your tank and is probably doing a useful job as a living vacuum cleaner. I am not sure of its identification but it looks as though it could be a species of Stichopus.
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