Psolus phantapus (Strussenfelt, 1765)

Psolus phantapus

Description: This sea cucumber has a crown of large bushy tentacles and lives amongst boulders or in muddy sand. The tentacles are off-white with orange patches and there are small pink spots all over the introvert and around the mouth. The body is U-shaped and has a sole at the base with the tube-feet confined to this area. Up to 20cm in length.

Habitat: Young specimens live attached to rocks or stones by their sole usually partly buried, but occasionally on sheltered vertical rock faces. Larger individuals may be simply buried in muddy sand with the sole downwards.

Distribution: A northern species in the British Isles. Known from a few Scottish sea lochs and old records from the Irish Sea.

Similar Species: Very distinctive, the only other species of Psolus known from the British Isles lives in deep water, though it looks similar to juvenile P. phantapus.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Psolus phantapus (Strussenfelt, 1765). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Accessed on 2024-06-13

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