Phtheirichthys lineatus   (Menzies,  1791) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: T. Suzuki

Max. size: 76.0 cm TL

Color: Dark brown above, lighter below with a blackish band from snout through eye to middle of base of caudal. Dorsal and anal dark brown with white outer border becoming increasingly narrow posteriorly. Caudal black with white upper and lower edges. Pectoral blackish, the outer border lighter. Ventral brown.

Body very slender, subcylindrical. Head 5.8 in standard length, 6.8 in total length. Depth of body 11.2 in standard length, 13.2 in total length. Eye diameter 5.3 in head and 1.8 in snout. Maxillary reaching to below nostrils. Lower jaw produced in a flap. Jaws with 3 or 4 rows of strong conical teeth; palatines with a band of small teeth. Sucking disc with 11 transverse laminae, slightly longer than head, its breadth 2.1 in its length, its posterior end above middle of pectoral. Origin of soft dorsal midway between eye and base of caudal, its longest rays twice in head. Longest anal rays about 1.8 in head. Pectoral fin pointed with flexible rays, its length being equal to head without snout. Ventral fin narrowly adnate to abdomen, slightly longer than pectoral fin. Body covered with minute scales.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: 35; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: 35; number of rays in the pectoral fin: 18; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 5; gill raker count: 1+1+10.

Most often found attached to barracudas but also to other fishes and sea turtles. Clings to body of host and also found inside gill chambers.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Echeneis lineata Menzies, 1791
Phtheirichthys lineatus Smith, 1949
Echeneis apicalis Poey, 1860
(Junior synonym)
Echeneis lineata Menzies, 1791
(Senior synonym)
Echeneis sphyraenarum Poey, 1860
(Junior synonym)
Echeneis tropica Euphrasen, 1791
(Junior synonym)
Phtheirichthys multiradiatus Schultz, 1943
(Junior synonym)
Phtheirichthys lineata (Menzies, 1791)
Phthierichthys lineatus (Menzies, 1791)

Common Name (s)
• Keesakam (Malayalam)
• Slender Suckerfish (English)
• Shark Sucker
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Pelagic


• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna 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 (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 -
  • 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 -
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-12-12

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