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FAQs about Remoras, Family Echeneidae

Related Articles: Remoras,

Related FAQs: Sharks

Echeneis naucrates  in a wholesale setting... stuck to glass. Yes; they're upside down

What is this     6/6/18
Caught and released in Florida and I have no clue what it is. Will you please tell me.
<That's a Remora. Also known as a Shark Sucker. Interesting animals, strikingly similar to Cobia in shape and colouration, but not so big, and with that modified dorsal fin on the head that's used to 'suck' onto boats, sharks, even whales. Cheers, Neale.>

Re: What is this    6/7/18
So cool!! Thank you
<Most welcome. Neale.>

Question on relationship between remora and sharks  8/24/08 Hello My name is Jey and I'm in 7 th grade. We are studying symbiosis. When I was searching through internet I found that the remora eats the sharks "leftovers" but that the remora does nothing for the shark. But I was told that the remora helps the shark . I would like to know if you can help me find in what way it helps the sharks because practically in all the sites I've read it says that the sharks receives nothing from the remora. Thank you Jey Rivera (Puerto Rico) <I speculate that sharks do receive a modicum of benefit from symbiotic Echeneids... the attachment and moving about with their modified dorsal fin likely is useful in dislodging external parasites... and a further "guess" is that the Remoras may act as "look outs" for both food items for the shark, and alert them to the presence of predators. Bob Fenner>

Remora help   7/5/08 Hi WWM crew, I need your advice, a friend that knows I have a large tank just gave me a Remora, its about 9 inches... <Mmm> anyways I introduce it to my tank where I keep a smooth hound and a blue spotted stingray, well the remora attached itself to the stingray and wont let go. My question is...will the stingray be ok swimming with the remora stuck to him at all times he doesn't seem to like it)? how can I separate them? <Net them both, hold the remora up by the tail out of the water... while someone is protecting you from the Stingray with a net...> the stingray and Remora are about the same size... I really didn't ask for the remora... please help G. So Cal <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/remorafaqs.htm Echeneids are incredibly aggressive fishes... almost always unsuitable for aquarium use. Bob Fenner>

We were fishing here in NC when my wife caught this. Someone told me this was a wrasse   10/12/07 <Mmm, likely an Echeneid... a Remora: http://wetwebmedia.com/echeneids.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: is it a remora? Maybe a cobia...  10/14/07 Hi Bob --> <Neale>> I thought I'd mention the cobia (Rachycentron canadum). It is very easy to confuse cobia with remoras such as Echeneis naucrates. <Ah, yes... and as a note of coincidence, the liveaboard I was on this last week in the Bahamas had a pic of one that was speared... of about 20 kilo weight> They are strikingly similar in shape and colour. I couldn't see for sure which the photo on WWM actually was. The "give-away" is the shape of the dorsal fin. Cobia have a series of short stout spines anterior to the dorsal fin (vaguely similar to the arrangement of spines on a spiny eel). Remoras, obviously, have the front half of the dorsal fin modified into the flat adhesive organ. Cobia are quite common in the warmer parts of the NW Atlantic, and indeed some people actively fish for them. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/Cobia/Cobia.html <Couldn't make out this character, but you are right, it might well have been a Cobia. Will post along with. Cheers, BobF>> Cheers, Neale

Dolphin shark fish in local pet store, need info on it   1/6/07 one <One> more question, the local pet store has a fish that's <that's>  5-6 inches grey and slender like a long wrasse but has the head and face of a dolphin. He calls it a dolphin shark, since that is what the distributor has put on the mail order. he's <He's> selling it for 175.00 and has no info on it. First time it came in but i <I> can tell you it eats like a horse. Do you have any info on it or a scientific name for this creature, how big it gets s it reef safe, <Is likely a Remora, an Echeneid... take a look on WWM, the Net for more positive ID... Is NOT suitable for a reef tank> have you heard or seen something like this. Its <It's> a saltwater fish. If you need a photo I will take one Monday if its not been sold yet. please write back Harry <Do send along a pic if you can. Bob Fenner> Remora "shark" question    1/14/07 Hey guys! <And girls... we're equal opportunity! *grin* JustinN with you today.> I hope this is not so much a nuisance as <I> expect but <I> have a big need for info on keeping a remora shark!   <Much is posted, available through our site already.> My mother brought me one home (first and last time she will bring me anything without consulting me) and I need to know how to care for it. <I certainly hope you've explained to her the issues with this action and the importance of being a conscientious aquarist with her after this.> What can you tell me about these guys besides that they get big and need a large tank? Don't worry about tank size as <I> have plenty of large tanks and my smallest tank is a 75. What do <I> feed it and how often does it eat? What kind of food is its main source? Also what can <I> do to keep him happy in my home aquarium? <Provide him with a properly sized home with adequate filtration and circulation, and provide him with the necessary food items to keep him happy. All of these and more are posted, available to you here through WWM, see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/remorafaqs.htm I would likely see about a return of the remora if you are not researched/ready for this aquatic endeavor.> Also my bamboo shark is  yawning quite frequently and I know this might be a disease factor or maybe stress right? <Yes, signs of stress from high nitrates. Water changes, stat! *grin*> What can <I> do? his behavior is the same except the yawning. I have ensured that all my fish are fully researched and properly cared for but with this remora I am truly clueless! Please help! Thanks. <If you feel that clueless, no reason to risk the learning process on an active life. My recommendation is to return the Echeneidae and determine if it is a species you would truly like to keep. If so, follow up with thorough research on the species before attempting again. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>

Remora shark... Echeneid on the cheap   1/12/06 Hi do you know anyone who wants a remora shark He's 2'? I have a round stingray and a black banned bamboo. Its so hard to feed all of them. <Oh yes... the Remora is insatiable...> If I could find a good home for him I would feel a lot better. Or should I release him into the ocean? I live in Cape May, NJ? <Please... no> Will he survive? <Too likely so... an exceedingly poor idea (and illegal if this is any concern) to release non-indigenous life into new habitats...> 3 Concerned <Look in your phone directories for local "Aquarium Service" companies... likely there is someone who will gladly take this fish, perhaps even pay, trade you something for it... Is there a hobby club that meets nearby? Do contact their president (can find via the Net) and ask if they know someone... Do NOT release this fish or any other life to the wild... you would be doing the environment, the hobby and yourself a great dis-service. Bob Fenner>

Dolphin shark fish in local pet store, need info on it   1/6/07 one <One> more question, the local pet store has a fish that's <that's>  5-6 inches grey and slender like a long wrasse but has the head and face of a dolphin. He calls it a dolphin shark, since that is what the distributor has put on the mail order. he's <He's> selling it for 175.00 and has no info on it. First time it came in but i <I> can tell you it eats like a horse. Do you have any info on it or a scientific name for this creature, how big it gets s it reef safe, <Is likely a Remora, an Echeneid... take a look on WWM, the Net for more positive ID... Is NOT suitable for a reef tank> have you heard or seen something like this. Its <It's> a saltwater fish. If you need a photo I will take one Monday if its not been sold yet. please write back Harry <Do send along a pic if you can. Bob Fenner> Quick question about remoras  11/23/05 Hi, do you know where I can get information about sharks tolerating remoras? <A search of scientific literature: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm> Is there a web site? Is there a book about remoras? <Not as far as I'm aware> I saw one listed by Donovan: Remoras, but could not find it on Amazon. Do the sharks object? <Sometimes seem to> Do they ever attack them? And how could a remora hold back a boat simply by attaching to it?? <Heeee! No> Best, Jeff Masson (author of When Elephants Weep). <Bob Fenner>  <<Just took a moment for a brief perusal of Jeff's works; this is an area of study that I have debated with others - why should animals not emote, as humans can?  Absolutely fascinating concept and area of study.  Marina>>

To catch a Remora, poetry in motion Hey All; In case anyone ever asks, DO NOT PUT a small remora in the same tank with a Naso vlamingii. For anyone near a PC...any idea how to get the remora to let go? Smile, Mike <Actually... been there, had to do that... a baited, barbless hook... with any, and I mean ANY meaty bait will do... those Echeneids (Greek for impossible sons of #(Q)+*$#+!) to catch) are murder on ones catch muscles. Bob F>

Keeping cold water animals - 2/17/04      I was wondering of the feasibility of a remora in a tank with sharks.  are there any coldwater remoras?  do they need a suitable host (open-water, fast-moving shark) or will they be fine on their own.  what do they need to be fed? crustaceans?  brine shrimp? krill? feeder fish fortified with vitamins? are they a community fish, are they tolerant of their own kind?  what other types of coldwater, CA native fish school in large numbers, where a school of say, 15 could live in a 900, and be slowly taken out by the resident sharks (2 H. francisci)?  what are the care requirements for other native sharks?  I know that leopards are now illegal, but whatever comes up on the pier besides that I consider fair game.  if I went to a grunion run, could I keep them?  what about other coldwater sharks, like the angel shark (Squatina californica) ?  please help me, as I can not find any info on the 'net. <I have decided to work with my supervisor at the aquarium for this one. I want to note that the lack of information on the internet about coldwater fish keeping should tell you something. But in respect to our duties here at WetWebMedia, I/We will do our best to disseminate information. It is important to note, that in no way do we advocate the keeping of such fragile animals without fully understanding coldwater concepts, and maintaining a good support network of professionals to support your endeavours. Cold water animal care is not to be taken lightly. Many of the California species have protected status and require permits for collection of course their captive care is entirely difficult as well. To be honest, I would prefer that an aquarist keep to the more standard areas of aquarium keeping but can understand that pushing the limits sometimes results in some rarely known before findings on habitat and lifestyles of various marine species. So here are the answers to your questions from my supervisor at the Monterey Bay Aquarium: Hmmm...where to start.   Remoras:  There are no cold water remoras, all species are sub-tropical to tropical.  They can survive just fine without a host.  I kept one for several years in a holding tank at MBA.    If they are kept with other same sized fish, they will tend to harass the other fish, thinking that they are a host and this can be a problem with the long-term survival of the other fish.  I have fed remoras everything from large krill to chopped fish and squid.  Match the food item with the size mouth of the animal.  I wouldn't really call them a community fish, but they are tolerant of other remoras and other species.  (note: tolerant is NOT the same as agreeable) Native CA schooling fishes:  The list is quite extensive.  It would include Pacific sardines, Northern anchovy, top smelt, jack smelt, grunion, herring, California flying fish, and Longfin halfbeak.  Of this list top smelt and jack smelt might be you best choices.  Most schooling fishes are actually quite delicate, may not survive collection, often have problems associated with bacterial disease and as a result do not do well in captivity, especially in a small system.  It is not likely that the horn sharks will feed on these fishes (it may happen, but not likely).  Horn sharks are primarily benthic feeders.  You could also put surfperch in with the horn sharks.  The list of surfperch that might work would include reef, dwarf, shiner, walleye, white and barred surfperch.  I would not attempt this without making sure that you have the correct equipment to maintain these animals and the correct permits/license to collect, transport and maintain these animals. You will have to check with Cal. Fish and Game regarding what you will need.  Again I would not recommend maintaining any of these species without really knowing what you are doing.  The only other species that may survive for any length of time is the swell shark.  DO NOT try and keep an angel shark, there are significant feeding issues associated with the angel sharks and I can almost guarantee that they will not survive for very long.  Leave the angel sharks in the ocean.  Leopards, Smoothhounds, dogfish, guitarfish, etc. will all outgrow even a 900 gallon tank very rapidly.  I would highly recommend that you do not try to keep any of these sharks in a home system. ~Dave and Paul> Robert

Re: Remoras (the fish) Thanks for the heads up on the Remora. I was starting to think I would not be able to make this setup work. Steve. <Glad to be of assistance... our service co. had a few accounts with Echeneis naucrates and a friend (Jack Melroy for all who have been out dive/traveling with us) had an absolute monster... all grew to more than two feet in length w/in a year... and ate everything... even a good-sized Lionfish! Bob Fenner>

Remora w/ shark? Sorry to bother you again but I was just wondering if you could tell me how big remoras get. I am planning on a 400g tank for a bamboo shark and it would be very cool if I could have one of these. What can you tell me about them? Thanks a lot Jeff liechty <Depends on the species. Most get at least two feet in length, some more than three... and surprisingly quickly! These fishes (family Echeneidae) are very aggressive feeders... may be a problem with trying to get food to your sharks... really. Please see the few notes re their husbandry posted on WetWebMedia.com by using the Google search tool on the homepage or indices. Bob Fenner>

Remora recently while fishing in the gulf of Mexico I caught a Red fish, attached was a Remora. I have it in my Aquarium. What can I feed it? <they are remarkably hardy and adaptable fish that will eat anything including beer nuts and nachos (not kidding... and not recommended). Feed a wide variety of meaty ocean meats (krill, plankton, squid, etc) and a quality polluted dry food for protein)> I appreciate any information. <due caution... this fish gets huge. You'll need a six to eight foot long tank to properly house it in the 2-5 year picture. Never release it back please now captive (risk of introducing an exotic disease, illegal, immoral, etc).> Thank You Nestor Houghton <best regards, Anthony>

Hi Bob. I've got a couple of questions about livestock. Right now I have a 50gal tank with a Snowflake Eel, a Porcupine Puffer, a Longnose Hawkfish and a flame angel. As I was looking around the fish store today I noticed a long fish (actually it looked "Wrasse like") that looked like it was cleaning the algae off the glass. I believe that the name was Remora. But I couldn't find ANY reference to a fish by that name. Any idea what it is? Does it really eat algae (I need an algae eater and it looked really cool)? <Hmm, probably is a Remora (family Echeneidae), the oddball fishes that are often pictured attached (with their specialized dorsal fins) to Manta Rays, Sharks (boats, divers...). And though they are not shy at the dinner table, no to being algae eaters per se. More like algae scrapers by accident... not for many peoples systems... Get Big, Fast...>

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