Belonging to the family Cucumariidae, the yellow sea cucumber, or Colochirus Robustus, is commonly known as the robust sea cucumber due to its strong, consistent appearance and thick protuberances resembling fingers or thick thorns. This creature is frequently spotted in the Indo-Pacific’s tropical regions, and normally keeps to shallower waters. Because of its distinctive appearance and striking yellowish colors, this species is often sought out by divers and underwater photography enthusiasts.
The sea cucumber resembles a thick, bright yellow branch that is slightly crooked, and features five distinct longitudinal ribs that end in a transverse indentation near the animal’s posterior. The creature does not grow to sizes larger than about 7 cm, and its three rows of tube feet provide it with stability as well as the ability to catch and feed on small food particles and microfauna that floats by. The robust sea cucumber’s bright yellow color is contrasted by small gray patches between its ridges.
Like many other sea cucumbers, this species feeds on tiny zooplankton and other organic particles that are guided by its tentacles to the mouth. Here, the food particles are scraped off, and once the feather-like tentacles have done their job, they once again extend toward stronger water currents in order to gain access to food particles that are carried by on the current. The reproduction cycle of the yellow sea cucumber is far more diverse. The creature can reproduce both sexually and asexually, and larvae settle to the sea floor until the time when they grow up into adults.
Due to its feeding preferences and biological make-up, this sea cucumber stays close to the seabed in well-lit, warmer areas from around the reef. Its somewhat fragile biology requires it to stay within a 25-foot distance from the surface, although it can be found in shallower waters as well. The eight large tentacles can reach out to a great distance to catch food, while the tube feet keeps the sea cucumber constantly close to the seabed. The yellow sea cucumber is commonly found in areas such as the Philippines and Indonesia, as well as other locations in the Indo-Pacific where sea temperatures, water currents and overall water conditions allow it to thrive.