PORT PHILLIP BAY


Sharksucker 

Echeneis naucrates

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

Meristics.
Dorsal fin spines/rays: 20-28 (pairs of disc laminae); 31-42
Anal fin spines/rays: 30-38
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 21-24
Ventral fin spines/rays: I, 5
Lateral line: 11-16

Interpreting fin count meristics.
Spines are in Roman numerals and soft rays are in Arabic numerals. Spines and rays that are continuous in one fin are separated by a comma. Fin sections are separated by semicolons.

Detailed descriptions of fin count and other meristics are in:
Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) (2008) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Order level detail.
A large and highly diverse group of modern bony fishes many of which have a generalized perch like body form. Most have pelvic fins with one spine and 5 rays and the maxillary bone is excluded from the gape of the mouth. Interrelationships of the group are poorly understood and continue to be studied. They inhabit almost all aquatic habitats from high-altitude strams to the deep sea, although most are marine.

Family level detail.
A small family of slender cylindrical fishes with the first dorsal fin modified into an oval sucking disc, used to attach to a host such as larger fishes, turtles and whales.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Chordata
Subphylum:
Craniata
Superclass:
Gnathostomata
Class:
Actinopterygii
Order:
Perciformes
Family:
Echeneidae
Genus:
Echeneis
Species:
naucrates

General Description

Body very long, slender, head depressed; dorsal fin modified into a flattened sucking disc; pectoral fin pointed, pelvic fin narrowly connected to the body by a membrane, anal fin with 30-38 rays. Dark grey brown to black above, paler below with a dark, often pale-edged midlateral stripe; fins dark to black in adults. Juveniles with pale paired fins and anterior parts of soft dorsal and anal fins and outer margin of caudal fin white. To 1 m.

Biology

Although these remoras usually attach themselves to larger fishes and other marine animals, they may also be free swimming. They feed on smaller fishes and zooplankton.

Habitat

Pelagic in tropical and subtropical coastal waters of all major oceans, in depths of 0-200 m.

Open water

Distribution guide

All majors oceans.

Species Group

Fishes Suckerfishes

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor Midwater

Max Size

1 m

Commercial Species

No

Global Dispersal

Recorded in Australia

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Bray, D.J.

Di Bray is a Senior Collection Manager of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

Author

article author Gomon, M.F.

Dr. Martin Gomon is a Senior Curator of ichthyology at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. & Gomon, M.F., 2011, Sharksucker, Echeneis naucrates, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 27 Apr 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/6382

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