Sea cucumber

Allothyone mexicana

Family Phyllophoridae - sea cucumbers

Body elongate, cylindrical, larger ones more U-shaped; covered with short, hard protrusions called "tube feet"; tube feet cover entire body (except in very small individuals), arranged in indistinct radial lines; color tan to brown on tube feet; skin visible when inflated, translucent, color gray, bluish or slightly purple; oral end with 10 short, branched tentacles, 2 of which are very small, can retract tentacles to inside of body; the calcareous ring (calcified plates surrounding the esophagus) with long posterior projections, made of mosaic pieces; ossicles "table" shaped, disk surface with many holes, margins knobbed, 4 extended pillars, in large specimens the pillars may conceal the holes and knobbed margins; ossicles of the tube feet with curved disk.
Similar Species
Sea cucumbers are distinguished by their body shape, the arrangements or lack of their tube feet, the number and shape of their tentacles, the shape of their calcareous ring, and the shape of their ossicles (which can only be seen under magnification). Many are brightly colored. This one is not. This sea cucumber is common in and around grass flats.
Gulf and bay, common in grass flats
Maximum Size
20 cm (8 in)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
No common name for this sea cucumber.