Syllis unzima Simon, San Martín, Robinson, 2014

Indigenous, potential pest on farmed sea cucumbers

Medium sized, up to ~ 10 mm long. Distinctive colour pattern of 2 transverse purple to brown bands across anterior chaetigers. Antennae, tentacular cirri and dorsal cirri long and slender, distinctly articulated. Dorsal cirri longer than body width, up to 35 articles each. Pharynx extend over 6 – 7 chaetigers with large conical tooth set back from anterior margin, proventicle over ~ 4 chaetigers. Simple chaetae in dorsal and ventral in posterior


First found on coralline algae outside abalone farm, in higher densities on experimental Holothuria scabra farm. Could potentially damage cucumbers, but conclusive evidence lacking. Also found on farmed oysters on west coast.

Northern Cape Province, Western Cape Province, south coast.

Cite as: Simon C.A. (2019) Syllis unzima Simon, San Martín, Robinson, 2014, modified May 2019. (, Accessed on <day/month/year>)