Leptosynapta minuta (Becher, 1906)

Leptosynapta minuta

Description: A tiny worm-like holothurian with ten simple tentacles and no tube-feet. The animal moves among the coarse particles in which it lives by crawling and wrapping its arms around the pieces of gravel or maerl. The spicules are anchors associated with anchor-plates with nine holes. Typically 1cm in length.

Habitat: Found amongst maerl and coarse gravel in areas of strong current, associated with Neopentadactyla mixta.

Distribution: In the British Isles this species is only known from Kilkieran Bay, Co. Galway. It was originally described from Heligoland in the North Sea and is probably more widely distributed but under-recorded because of the difficulty of sorting the coarse substratum in which it lives.

Similar Species: The simple, unbranched tentacles separate this species from all other British synaptids except Rhabdomolgus ruber. This latter species is only known from the French coast and Heligoland but could turn up in a similar habitat to Leptosynapta minuta in the British Isles. It is distinguished by its lack of any spicules and red colour.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map: NBN map : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.

WoRMS: Species record : World Register of Marine Species.

iNaturalist: Species account : iNaturalist World Species Observations database

 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C. (2016). Leptosynapta minuta (Becher, 1906). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. Accessed on 2024-06-14

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