Leptosynapta dolabrifera Click to enlarge image
Snot Sea Cucumber, Leptosynapta dolabrifera Image: Dr Isobel Bennett
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    dolabrifera
    Genus
    Leptosynapta
    Family
    Synaptidae
    Order
    Apodida
    Class
    Holothuroidea
    Phylum
    Echinodermata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    15 cm

Introduction

The Snot Sea Cucumber is covered in a mucous slime and feels sticky to touch.

Identification

Like all echinoderms, the Snot Sea Cucumber has spiny skin. The microscopic spines, called anchors, are embedded into the thin, transparent body wall and help the sea cucumber burrow through the sand.

Habitat

Snot Sea Cucumbers live on intertidal rocky shores and in coastal waters to a depth of 200 m.

Distribution

Snot Sea Cucumbers are found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia andTasmania.

Feeding and diet

As the Snot Sea Cucumber burrows, contracting its body like a huge earthworm, tentacles surrounding its mouth sweep in sand and mud. The sea cucumber extracts nutrients from the sand and mud, and excretes the rest, leaving behind trails of sand like squeezed toothpaste.