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This article is about the legendary creature. For the remora genus, see Echeneis (genus).

An echeneis is a legendary creature; a small fish that was said to latch on to ships, holding them back.

Pliny the Elder (1st century AD) also said of the echeneis: "It has a disgraceful repute, as being employed in love philtres, and for the purpose of retarding judgments and legal proceedings—evil properties, which are only compensated by a single merit that it possesses—it is good for staying fluxes of the womb in pregnant women, and preserves the fœtus up to birth: it is never used, however, for food."[1] They were said to be found in the Indian Ocean.[2][3] Isidore of Seville (7th century AD) and Bartholomaeus Anglicus (13th century) are among later authors of bestiaries that mention the echeneis.[2]

It is thought that these ancient descriptions refer to the remora.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pliny Natural History 9.41
  2. ^ a b Echeneis at the Medieval Bestiary. Accessed 28 February 2016
  3. ^ Gudger, E. W. The Annals and magazine of natural history; zoology, botany, and geology being a continuation of the Annals combined with Loudon and Charlesworth's Magazine of Natural History. XXIX.—The myth of the ship-holder: studies in Echeneis or Remora.—I