E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Synallactes challengeri (Théel, 1886)
Sea Cucumber
Family: Synallactidae
Photo of species

© Neil McDaniel  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15846)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Synallactes challengeri in British Columbia
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Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this taxon. If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., two subspecies may be illustrated) then links to the separate images will be provided below.

Synallactes challengeri can grow up to 20 cm in length. Its elongate, cylindrical body tapers toward the posterior end. The dorsal side of the body is covered with long, slender, tapering papillae. They do not appear to be in rows. The animal is grey with a tinge of pink or purple. On the ventral side, there are three series of tube feet. The middle series has two to four rows; the lateral series only has two. Twenty yellowish peltate tentacles surround the subterminal mouth.

Skin ossicles: tables are a cross with a tall spire rising from the centre; rods (not shown) are long and slightly curved with racquet-shaped ends.

Ostergren (1896) placed this species in Synallactes. Clark (1922) also suggested that this species was not a Stichopus, but that it possessed the characters of the family Synallactidae.

Similar Species

Synallactes challengeri might be mistaken for a juvenile of a Parastichopus. The body colour, and size and shape or the papillae are fairly distinctive. Internally, S. challengeri has no tentacle ampullae, and the ossicles are quite different.



challengeri = from the Challenger expedition

This species feeds on bottom sediments with its peltate tentacles, like Parastichopus. We know little about the other aspects of its biology.


S. challengeri lives on a variety of substrata from rock to mud, usually with gravel. In Portland Inlet, northern B.C., I have seen it in shallow water on a rocky bottom.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Stichopus challengeri Theel
Synallactes challengeri Ostergren (1896)

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2022-08-13 9:28:59 PM]
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