seen? These sea cucumbers appear to be seasonally abundant
and are found on many of our shores. When in 'season', large numbers
of small skinny ones (5-10cm long) may be seen draped around sponges
and other encrusting animals. In the seagrass meadows, thicker very
long ones (10-12cm, to 30cm long) are entwined among the seagrasses.
They might even be seen crawling (slowly) on the sand.
Features: Synaptids have a thin
body wall and are more delicate than other sea cucumbers. Synaptid
sea cucumbers don't have tube feet. Instead, they may stick to things
with tiny hooked sclerites that poke out of their soft bodies. This
is why they stick to our hands if we touch them. They have thin body
walls and are fragile, so we should not handle them.
Among the longest sea cucumbers is a synaptid, Synapta maculata,
which can reach up to 3m long!
Sometimes mistaken for worms.
Here's more on how to tell apart
Synaptids on a sponge usual many
Pulau Sekudu, Jul 03
Long big synaptids
are usually seen alone.
Pulau Semakau, Apr 08
Cyrene Reef, Aug 12
Body covered with tiny hooked sclerites.
|Synaptid sea cucumbers on Singapore shores