Talk About Fish
Home More Back Next


Remoras, sharksuckers, suckerfishes and discfishes are the common names for the members of the Echeneidae family. The family members are characterized by having a sucker disc on their head.

Members of the Echeneidae are found in Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. They often attach themselves with their sucker disc to marine vertebrates and objects that have a large enough surface for them to stick on. These include sharks, rays, barracudas, sailfishes, marlins, swordfishes, jacks, groupers, tarpons, sea turtles, whales, dolphins, ship and floating objects. They act as parasite cleaners on their hosts, and feed on host leftovers food and faeces.

There are 3 genera and 8 species worldwide. There should be 6 species in Malaysian waters.

Scientific Name: Echeneis naucrates  Linnaeus, 1758
English Name: Live Sharksucker
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 长印鱼 (Zhǎng yìn yú), 吸盘鱼 (Xī pán yú)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Selipar, Gedemi, Tapak Kasut
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาเหาฉลาม (Plā h̄eāc̄hlām)
Main Identification Features: Body very elongated and disc with 21 to 28 laminae. Pectoral fin pointed. Shape of caudal fin changing with age.
Size: Maximum standard length about 1 m.
Habitat and Ecology: Shallow inshore waters, to 50 m depth. Attaches to variety of host as well as freeswimming. Host includes sharks, other larger animals, and man-made objects. Feeds on small fishes, host's parasites, scraps from host's prey, and host faeces.