Species encyclopedia

Australian Sea Apple

Pseudocolochirus axiologus


Sea apples, or sea cucumbers, belong to the Echinodermata group, along with sea urchins and sea stars.

They have five rows of ambulacral feet, like tentacles ending with a sucker, that they use to move around. The Australian sea apple is known for sporting three different colours: purple, red and white. Its skeleton is made of a scattering of small, hard needles covered with an external integument similar to leather.

The mouth at one end of its body is surrounded by 10 branching tentacles with taste and smell receptors. The sea apple exposes them to the current to filter the water and catch floating prey. It then puts its tentacles one after the other into its mouth.


This species has separate sexes, so there are male and female sea apples. During the reproductive season, the animals form groups of one male and several females.

The male releases his sperm, triggering ovulation in the females. This fertilization is called ‘external’ because it occurs in the ocean water. Some species of sea apple can split themselves crosswise and regenerate each half in the space of one month.

When an Australian sea apple dies, it releases toxins that may be fatal to other species living close by.

Indo-Pacific area


Species encyclopedia

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