Remora osteochir   (Cuvier,  1829) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Carvalho Filho, A.

Size: Max length 40.0 cm SL (male/unsexed)

Color: Uniform brownish, scarcely lighter below. Fins brownish to dark brown especially towards the edges.

Body moderately elongate, covered with minute scales. Head 4.2-4.7 in standard length, 5.0-5.6 in total length. Depth of body 7.4-8.0 in standard length, 8.9-10.8 in total length. Eye diameter 6.4-8.7 in head, 2.6-3.8 in snout. Maxillary reaching to below nostrils. Lower jaw not produced in a flap. Upper jaw with an outer row of flexible close set small teeth and a narrow band of teeth within. Lower jaw with a narrow band of teeth, some posterior teeth of the outer row slightly larger. Vomer and palatines with a band of minute teeth. Sucking disc elongate, 1.8-2.0 times of head, with 18 or 19 transverse laminae, its breadth 2.2-2.3 in its length, its posterior end extending well beyond tip of pectoral fin. Longest dorsal rays slightly shorter than those of anal. Longest anal rays almost equal to head without snout. Pectoral fin rounded, rays stiff, multibranched and half length of snout shorter than head. Ventral fin broadly adnate to the abdomen, equal to head without snout. Caudal fin emarginate.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: 22-25; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: 22-24; number of rays in the pectoral fin: 21-23; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 5; gill raker count: 1+1+10-11.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders. Oviparous. From collection study observations, a mature pair is often found attached to a single host, most often a billfish, indicative of distinct pairing during breeding.

Has a strong preference for marlins and sailfish as hosts, but may occasionally cling to other large fishes. Attaches to the body or gill chamber of the host.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Echeneis osteochir Cuvier, 1829
Remora osteochir Jones and Kumaran, 1966
Echeneis jacobaea Lowe, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Echeneis megalodiscus Franz, 1910
(Junior synonym)
Echeneis osteochir Cuvier, 1829
(Senior synonym)
Echeneis pediculus Girard, 1893
(Junior synonym)
Echeneis tetrapturorum Poey, 1860
(Junior synonym)
Rhombochirus osteochir (Cuvier, 1829)
(Senior synonym)
Echeneis osteochire (Cuvier, 1829)

Common Name (s)
• Marlinsucker (English)
• Atta Mas (Mahl)
• Feesung (Mahl)
• Keesakam (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Pelagic
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Benthic crustaceans
Predator:  Thunnus albacares


• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1966) New records of fishes from the seas around India - Part IV Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India Marine Biological Association of India 8(1) 163-180 Available at -
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-03-11

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