Distribution and habitat
The species is considered as circumtropical, as it occurs in all tropical and warm temperate waters around the world, except for the eastern Pacific. The species can be found close to the coast, as well as offshore at a maximum depth of 50 m (160 ft).
A live sharksucker is known to attach itself temporarily by its modified dorsal fin used as a sucking disc to various hosts, such as sharks, rays, large bony fishes, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, ships, and even sometimes scubadivers.
Echeneis naucrates is a medium-sized fish which can grow up to 110 cm (43 in) length. Its body is elongated and streamlined, and its lower jaw is clearly prognathic(it projects forward well beyond the upper jaw). The jaws, vomer and tongue have villiform teeth. The main distinctive feature to distinguish from other fishes is the oval-shaped sucking disc, which is a highly modified dorsal fin positioned from the top of the head to the anterior part of the body.
The body background colouration is dark grey to dark brown, with a dark belly. A longitudinal stripe runs along the axis side of the body, it is always darker than its background colourwith a whitish margin. The caudal fin is black with white corners.
According to its maturity or situation (with host or not) the remora's diet varies.
With a host, the live sharksucker eats parasitic crustaceans from the latter, food scraps from the feeding activity of its host, or some small food caught by filtering the water through its villiform teeth while the navigating on its host.
- Collette, B., Curtis, M., Williams, J.T., Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Pina Amargos, F. (2015). Echeneis naucrates. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T190393A15603110.en
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