© Johan Boshoff


Remoras (Echeneidae)


Suckerfish, Sharksucker and Gapu


Remoras are 40 cm in length on average but can be as long as 90 cm.


The body of a remora is rounded and slender. Its primary dorsal fin has a sucking disk with a series of traverse plates. The head is flattened vertically, and the lower jaw is longer than the top jaw. Remoras are predominantly dark in colour with white or yellow horizontal lines.

General Info

Remoras belong to the Echeneidae family which comprises of four genera and eight species. The creatures use their suckers to attach themselves to sharks, turtles, rays, bony fish, whales and dolphins, travelling along with them and cleaning them of parasites and bacteria. The shape of their head makes them appear as if they are swimming upside down. They are pelagic spawners.


Remoras feed on the scraps of their hosts, and some species would eat its faeces.


They can be found in all temperate and tropical oceans across the world.

Common Species

Remora (Remora linnaeus)
Striped remora (Echeneis naucrates)

© Johan Boshoff