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Black Sea Cucumber (Holothuria atra) Profile


Black Sea Cucumber (Holothuria atra) Profile

Black Sea Cucumber (Holothuria atra)

Keoki Stender

Scientific Name:

Holothuria atra.

Other Common Names:

Black Cucumber, Black Sea Urchin and Lollyfish.

Maximum Size:

To about 24".


Indo-Pacific, Red Sea to Hawaii.


This Sea Cucumber is an omnivore, consuming detritus, uneaten food and algae present on and in the substrate of marine aquariums. It ingests the sand substrate, digesting the nutrients, expelling sand pellets in its wake.


This Sea Cucumber does not expel sticky threads, but will eject its internal organs, which are toxic. It will host Commensal Crabs and Pearlfish in its anus.


When threatened, this Sea Cucumber can expel its internal organs, which are toxic to other occupants of the aquarium. If this Sea Cucumber should die in an aquarium, the probability of it exuding toxins into the tank water is quite high. If this Sea Cucumber expels its internal organs or dies, it is recommended that you remove the Cucumber, dose the tank with a detoxifier such as Amquel, then perform several water changes to dilute the toxins, followed by carbon filtration.

Reef Tabk Suitability:

Due to its toxic potential as well as its high water quality requirements, it is not recommended for reef aquariums. This Sea Cucumber is a great sand stifter/stirrer, cleaning and aerating the substrate as it plows through the substrate.

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