Family: ECHENEIDAE, Suckerfishes, Remoras
These peculiar, medium-sized fishes (30-100 cm), are easily distinguished by the sucking-disc composed of a series of transverse plates on top of the head which represents a modification of the spiny dorsal fin. The body is slender and somewhat rounded in cross section; jaws broad, lower jaw projecting, top jaw not protractile; simple teeth on jaws, center of roof of mouth, usually on tongue and sometimes on side of roof of mouth; operculum without spines; 2nd dorsal and anal fins without spines, long based, similar in shape and opposite one another, 18-45 rays and 18-41 rays, respectively; pectorals high on body; pelvics under pectoral base, close-set, I, 5; scales small, smooth, imbedded.
The family contains four genera and eight species, most of which occur worldwide.The group was comprehensively covered by Robins et al.(1986). In our region there are eight species, 7 circumtropical and 1 W Atlantic, from three genera.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER COLLETTE (2002)