Green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas, feeding on Synapta maculata (Holothuroidea: Synaptidae) on a seagrass bed (Syringodium isoetifolium) at Reunion Island, western Indian Ocean
|Author(s)||Mulochau Thierry1, Jean Claire2, Gogendeau Pierre3, Ciccione Stéphane2|
|Affiliation(s)||1 : BIORECIF, 3 ter rue d l’albatros 97434 La Réunion, France
2 : KELONIA, 46 rue du G. De Gaulle 97436 Saint Leu La Réunion, France
3 : IFREMER, 1 rue J. Bertho BP 60 97822 Le Port Cedex La Réunion, France
|Source||Bêche-de-mer - information bulletin (1025-4943) (Pacific Community / Communauté du Pacifique), 2021-03 , N. 41 , P. 37-39|
Young green turtles, Chelonia mydas, frequent the Syringodium isoetifolium seagrass beds on Reunion’s inner reef flats of fringing reefs, where they come to feed. Photographs of a green turtle looking for and eating the snake sea cucumber. Synapta maculata, were taken for the first time at Reunion Island. S. maculata is a sea cucumber species that was frequently observed on the inner reef flats and on the back-reef depression, but these abundances seem to be decreasing in recent years. Studies of S. maculata populations are needed to monitor changes in densities of this species, which has an important ecosystem role, as well as other observations to determine whether this case of green sea turtle predation is an isolated one or whether S. maculata may occasionally be part of the diet of young C. mydas in Reunion.