Gut-like Sea cucumber (Synaptula recta)

Also known as Medusa Worm Sea Cucumbers, Synaptid Sea Cucumber, Tripang, Wormfish.

Description

Also known as Medusa Worm Sea Cucumber, Synaptid Sea Cucumber, Tripang, Wormfish.

Found singly sometimes on the surface of sponges over sand flats and seagrass beds in shallow waters of coastal reefs.
They feed on detritus and plankton.
Length - 40cm
Depth - 0-20m
Widespread Indo-West Pacific

Synaptidae are soft and worm like, often active during the day.

Some sea cucumbers crawl around on the bottom slowly filtering sand through their tentacles to gather food, while others spread their tentacles above them to capture plankton. A number of sea cucumbers feed nocturnally while others feed by day.
There are sea cucumbers that hardly move while others are more active often perching on tall sponges to feed.
Sea cucumbers often attract hitch-hikers like shrimps and crabs that crawl over their skin, also pearlfish that enter via their anus.
As a means of defence sea cucumbers can expel their intestines or respiratory organs in the form of sticky threads, but these can quickly regenerate.
Juveniles often mimic sea slugs.
Some types of sea cucumbers are edible and considered a delicacy in the Far East countries.
Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synaptula_recta

1 comment

  1. Posted by David Maundrill
    November 30, 2011 at 04:51 am - 1 person found this useful.

    I saw a gut like sea cucumber about 10 m from shore and 2m down on Long Beach Mauritius. However, this one was about 1.5 metres long, not 15cm! About 4 or 5cm diameter.

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