Snake cucumberSynapta maculata

  • Seagrass
  • Echinoderm
  • Sea Cucumber
  • Fauna


Synapta maculata belongs to the family of Synaptidae. It is a large sea cucumber, commonly known as the Giant sticky sea cucumber (Comoros), Moorish rope (Reunion Island), Snake cucumber (Mauritius) or Brown sticky snake sea cucumber. Its overall body colour is variable from brownish yellow with olive green shades. There are 5 dark longitudinal stripes and black spots all over the body. The mouth has 15 light brown or white pinnate tentacles[1]. The skin has many spicules, which are microscopic calcareous spike-like structures that support the body wall, that are large and hooked and can be 2mm in length. The spicules help the sea cucumber move over its substrate.


[1] ‘Synapta Maculata | DORIS’.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present across the Indo-Pacific region. Recorded depth range is between 0 and 25m. It is found in sandy regions, seagrass meadows and under rocks or on reef flats. It is a scavenger and its diet consists of organic material collected using its tentacles. Spawning has been recorded between June and July[1].


Conservation and management

The conservation status of this species has not been evaluated yet.


[1] ‘Synapta Maculata, Maculated Synaptid’.

Did you know?

It can reach 3m in length and has a small diameter, about 5cm.