A sea cucumber with a cylindrical, dark brown or bluish-purple body, and very tough, leathery skin. A large sea cucumber up to 50 cm long when fully grown. The tentacles and mouth region can be quite colourful, with areas of white or red. The contractile tube feet are present in five distinct rows. The ten equal-sized tentacles are black and bushy when extended. Fenestrate plates (microscopic calcareous plates containing small holes) present in younger animals but may be absent in larger specimens.A detailed taxonomic description is provided by McKenzie (1991).