Species Index

Echeneis naucrates
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name: Slender Suckerfish

Distribution: Common throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Circumtropical distribution in warm waters. In Australia recorded from all states excepting Tasmania and including Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands.

Ecological Notes: Usually offshore pelagic species, inshore when attached to host, particularly rays and sharks. Depth to 85 m.

Additional Notes: Black and white markings, long slender body, with sucking disc on the dorsal surface over the head. Sucking disc is actually a modified first dorsal fin comprising transverse moveable laminae. Attaches temporarily to a variety of hosts including sharks, rays, turtles, whales and dolphins, see juvenile swimming with larger host fish. Feeds on small fishes, hosts parasites and leftover scraps when host is feeding. Grows to 1 metre. 

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.136.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 25/05/18.