Whalesucker, Remora australis (Bennett 1840)

Other Names: Indian Suckerfish

Illustration of a Whalesucker, Remora australis. Source: FAO / EOL. License: CC by Attribution-Noncommercial

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Remora australis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/4248

Whalesucker, Remora australis (Bennett 1840)

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Meristic features:
Cephalic sucking disc: 23-26 lamellae
Dorsal-fin rays: 23-26
Anal-fin rays: 24-26
Caudal fin rays: 17
Pectoral fin rays: 22-24
Pelvic-fin spines/rays: I, 5
Gill rakers: 17-20

Body shallow (~ 15% SL); head moderately large (26-28% SL); jaws with numerous large stout canine teeth; teeth absent from palatines and tongue.

Suction disc extending beyond tips of depressed pectoral fins almost halfway to tail, length 47-59% SL.  Caudal fin moderately forked, small.


Brown or grey to slate‑blue below, paler above; dorsal and anal fins with fine pale margins.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not Evaluated
  • Species Citation

    Echeneis australis Bennett, 1840, Narr. Whal. Voy., 2: 273, Australasia.


    Dianne J. Bray

    Whalesucker, Remora australis (Bennett 1840)


    Bennett, F.D. 1840. Narrative of a Whaling Voyage Around the Globe from the Year 1833–1836. Comprising sketches of Polynesia, California, the Indian Archipelago, etc., with an account of southern whales, the sperm whale fishery, and the natural history of the climates visited. London : Bentley Vol. 2 395 pp. 2 pls.

    Collette, B.B. 1999. Family Echeneidae. pp. 2652-2654 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 2069-2790 pp.

    Glover, C.J.M. 1994. Families Pomatomidae, Echeneididae. pp. 577-582 figs 512-515 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

    Gomon, M.F. 2008. Families Rachycentridae and Echeneidae. pp. 571-575 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

    Gray, K.N., McDowell, J.R., Collette, B.B. & Graves, J.E. 2009. A molecular phylogeny of the remoras and their relatives. Bulletin of Marine Science 84(2): 183-198

    Heemstra, P.C., 1986. Echeneidae. p. 662-664. In M.M. Smith & P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

    O'Toole, B. 2002. Phylogeny of the species of the superfamily Echeneoidea (Perciformes: Carangoidei: Echeneidae, Rachycentridae, and Coryphaenidae), with an interpretation of echeneid hitchhiking behaviour. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80(4): 596-623.

    Sazima, I., C. Sazima & J.M. Silva Jr., 2003. The cetacean offal connection: feces and vomits of spinner dolphins as a food source for reef fishes. Bull. Mar. Sci. 72(1): 151-160.

    Whitley, G.P. 1949. Sucking fishes. Australian Museum Magazine 10(1): 17-23

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37336004

    Behaviour:Attaches to whales & dolphins

    Depth:0-200 m

    Habitat:Pelagic - oceanic

    Max Size:76 cm TL

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