Echeneis naucrates Linnaeus, 1758
Live sharksucker
Echeneis naucrates
photo by Bryan, D.

Family:  Echeneidae (Remoras)
Max. size:  110 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 2,300.0 g
Environment:  reef-associated; brackish; marine; depth range 1 - 85 m
Distribution:  Circumtropical. Western Atlantic: Nova Scotia, Canada and Bermuda to Uruguay (Ref. 7251, 26938). Eastern Central Atlantic: Madeira Island (Ref. 74541).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 32-42; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 29-41. Description: Greyish with dark brown to blackish mid-lateral stripe bordered by narrow white stripes above and below, from eye to caudal fin base (Ref. 26938, Ref. 90102). Body depth contained in 8-14 times in SL; caudal fin in adults almost truncate with the upper and lower lobes longer than the middle rays; first dorsal fin replaced by a transversal, laminated, oval cephalic disc with 18-28 laminae (Ref. 10970); 21-28 laminae (according to K.R. Sreenath pers. Comm, 11/2010;; also in Ref. 90102) .
Biology:  Most abundant remora in warm waters (Ref. 4389). Occurs near as well as far from the coast (Ref. 5217). Often found free-swimming in shallow inshore areas and around coral reefs (Ref. 26938). Attaches temporarily to a variety of hosts including sharks, rays, large bony fishes or sea turtles, whales, dolphins and also to ships. May follow divers (Ref. 9710); reported to attach itself to a diver's leg (Ref. 57809). Feeds on small fishes, bits of its host's prey and host's parasites (Ref. 26938). Juveniles occasionally act as reef station-based cleaners, where they service parrotfishes (Ref. 40095). Sometimes used by natives to aid in fishing; a line is tied to the caudal peduncle of the remora and then is released; upon attaching to another fish, the remora and its host are hauled in by the fisher (Ref. 9682).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 23 August 2012 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 06.03.91
Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 28.04.15
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 31.08.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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