[Ocean Oasis Field Guide] Satellite image of the Baja California peninsula and Gulf of California See Spanish version

Remora remora
Suckerfish, Remora, Rémoras, Pegadores

Family: ECHENEIDAE (Suckerfishes or Remoras)

Remora is derived from Latin, remorari, meaning "to linger, to delay."


Remoras are easily distinguished by the flattened area on top of the head, which forms a sucking disk of 15 to 19 transverse laminations. Dark grayish brown in color, they are up to 62 cm (24.4 in.) in length.

Range and Habitat

Remoras are found in open seas at tropical latitudes around world. They are commonly found attached to sharks, manta rays, and other large fishes.

Remora and angelfish on manta, from Ocean Oasis, copyright 2000 CinemaCorp of the Californias

Natural History

Remoras attach themselves to larger fishes for protection and access to food. They are opportunistic feeders, eating leftover scaps of the prey their host is consuming. They have been known to attach themselves to unaware divers, perhaps confusing them with a large fish.

Text by Patricia Beller

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