| Common names: remora (English), suckerfish (English), rémora (Espanol) |
Remorina albescens (Temminck & Schlegel, 1850)
White suckerfish, White remora
Moderately elongate; sucking disc on head medium length, reaches ~to tips of pectorals, with 12-14 plates; lower gill rakers ~10, including rudiments; pectoral broad, rounded 18-21 rays; dorsal with short base, 15-22 rays; anal base ~ head length, 20-26 rays; tail bluntly straight (forked in juvenile); pelvics small, blunt, narrowly joined to belly by membrane .
Uniform pale grey to white.
Size: 35 cm.
Habitat: hosts are manta rays, sharks and marlin.
Depth: 0-50 m?
Circumtropical; throughout our region except for the upper Gulf of California.
Global Endemism: All species, TEP non-endemic, Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans), "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific), East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West), Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America), East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West)
Regional Endemism: All species, Eastern Pacific non-endemic, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic, Continent + Island (s), Continent, Island (s)
Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California), Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap), Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos), Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo), South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
Inshore/Offshore: Offshore Only, Offshore
Water Column Position: Near Surface, Mid Water, Water column only
Habitat: Water column, Large fishes (billfishes, rays, sharks, etc), turtles & whales
FishBase Habitat: Pelagic
Habitat and Ecology
Depth range (m): 58 - 58
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.
Diet: Pelagic crustacea, zooplankton, pelagic fish eggs, pelagic fish larvae, ectoparasites, bony fishes
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Remora albescens
No available public DNA sequences.
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Remora albescens
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
CITES: Not listed
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
This species is listed as Least Concern. It is common and widely distributed globally. There are no known specific threats to the species, but may be affected by threats directed at manta rays, the host species.
The white suckerfish or mantasucker, Remora albescens, is a species of remora in the family Echeneidae, a group of elongated marine fish with adhesive discs for attaching to larger organisms. The distribution of this species is worldwide in warm open seas: it is found in the western Indian Ocean including Réunion and Mauritius, in the eastern Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Chile (but is rare north of Baja California), and in the western and eastern central Atlantic Ocean from Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to Brazil and St. Paul's Rocks.
The white suckerfish can reach 30 cm (12 in) in standard length. The adhesive disk is short and wide, the length 34-40% and the width 22-26% of the standard length, with 13-14 lamellae. The pelvic fins are placed far forward and narrowly attached to the abdomen; the dorsal, anal, and pectoral fins are short with reduced rays. The dorsal fin rays number 18-23, the anal fin rays 18-24, and the pectoral fin rays 18-21. The dentition is specialized, consisting of many large, stout canine teeth set in large patches in broad jaws. The head, body, and fins are colored light brown, light tan, or light grey to whitish. Three documented specimens from the Gulf of Mexico show considerable variation in color pattern, from uniform grey or pale bluish-white to light grey, darkening on the sides and belly and bearing numerous elongated spots. One living specimen immediately darkened in color when it was removed from sea water and lightened when it was returned.
White suckerfish are rarely found free-swimming; they are host-specific to manta rays, and enter their host's mouth and gill chamber more often than any other remora. They are also occasionally found attached to sharks, and in the Indo-Pacific region to black marlin. Unlike some other remora species, parasitic copepods comprise a negligible part of the diet of the white suckerfish, suggesting it may not have a mutualistic relationship with its host. The white suckerfish responds to a touch on its belly by forcefully erecting its pelvic fins, possibly an adaptation to avoid crushing by its host. Nothing is known about their reproduction. It is used in Chinese medicine.
- Carpenter, K. & Collette, B.B. 2010. Remorina albescens. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 July 2013.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Remora albescens" in FishBase. April 2013 version.
- Lachner, E.A. (1986). "Echeneididae". In Whitehead, P.J.P, et al.. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. ISBN 92-3-002309-4.
- von Schmidt, K. (Mar 6, 1969). "Remorina albescens in the Gulf of Mexico, with a Note on Pigmentation". Copeia 1969 (1): 194–195. doi:10.2307/1441716. JSTOR 1441716.
- Cressey, R.F. and Lachner, E.A. (Jun 1, 1970). "The Parasitic Copepod Diet and Life History of Diskfishes (Echeneidae)". Copeia 1970 (2): 310–318. doi:10.2307/1441652. JSTOR 1441652.
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