Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010 : Remora


A remora (pronounced /ˈrɛmərə/), sometimes called a suckerfish or sharksucker, is an elongated, brown fish in the order Perciformes and family Echeneidae. They grow to 30–90 centimetres long (1–3 ft), and their distinctive first dorsal fin takes the form of a modified oval sucker-like organ with slat-like structures that open and close to create suction and take a firm hold against the skin of larger marine animals. By sliding backward, the remora can increase the suction, or it can release itself by swimming forward. Remoras sometimes attach to small boats. They swim well on their own, with a sinuous, or curved, motion.

Remoras are primarily tropical open-ocean dwellers, occasionally found in temperate or coastal waters if they have attached to large fish that have wandered into these areas. In the mid-Atlantic, spawning usually takes place in June and July; in the Mediterranean, in August and September. The sucking disc begins to show when the young fish are about 1 centimetre long. When the remora reaches about 3 centimetres, the disc is fully formed and the remora is then able to hitch a ride. The remora's lower jaw projects beyond the upper, and there is no swim bladder.

Some remoras associate primarily with specific host species. Remoras are commonly found attached to sharks, manta rays, whales, turtles, and dugong (hence the common names sharksucker and whalesucker). Smaller remoras also fasten onto fish like tuna and swordfish, and some small remoras travel in the mouths or gills of large manta rays, ocean sunfish, swordfish, and sailfish.


  1. Hi, This article was very informative.
    I operate a blog about fishing in Canada and I have a Web2.0 page where people can enter their own stories. In this case, the story included "Ramora fish" but had no picture... so I am posting your blog post Tarpon Fishing in Trinidad to show people what the ramora fish looks like.


  2. I often see remoras hanging onto turtles who are obviously irritated by them. They're always trying to get them off.
    Do the remoras serve any good purpose or are they just free loaders?