E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Psolus squamatus (Koren, 1844)
White Armoured Sea Cucumber
Family: Psolidae
Photo of species

© Aaron Baldwin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #2063)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Psolus squamatus in British Columbia
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Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this taxon. If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., two subspecies may be illustrated) then links to the separate images will be provided below.

Psolus squamatus has the typical psolid shape: a low hemisphere with a flat base. It can grow up to 13 cm long, but normally ranges between 5 and 10 cm. The dorsal scales are white and smooth, but often discoloured brown. Between the tentacles and the anus there are about 12 plates. The thin, dorsal plates overlap smoothly but some have granules along their edges. The tube feet form a conspicuous double row around the perimeter of the sole with a few scattered down the mid-line. The 10 white tentacles are approximately equal in size.

Skin ossicles: only sparse netlike perforated plates in the sole.

Similar Species

Psolus squamatus can be distinguished from the other two psolids by its colour: P. squamatus is white; P. chitonoides is red and P. bidiscum is mauve-pink.



squamatus = scaly

P. squamatus is a typical suspension feeder. Little is known about reproduction or development in this species. It is reported to be sexually mature at a length of 30 mm.


As with other psolids, this species usually attaches to solid rock, stones, or mollusc shells. Thus, its true abundance is difficult to determine using conventional dredging gear. However, using the Pisces submersible, I have observed numerous individuals on vertical rock walls in several coastal inlets.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cavieria squamatus Koren
Psolus squamatus Lutken (1857)

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2023-09-24 11:17:47 AM]
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