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Species: Remora osteochir, the Marlinsucker

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

sucker passes pectoral, 15-19 plates
D 20-26
11-17 gill rakers
pectoral 20-24, fin tip stiff
pelvics broadly attached to belly

Remora osteochir (Cuvier, 1829)


Body elongate, robust; dorsal and anal bases < 2x head length; head disc with 15-19 plates, long (37-49% of SL), reaches well beyond pectorals, its tiny spines blunt, in 4 irregular rows; jaws broad, lower jaw projecting, top jaw not protractile; simple teeth on jaws and center of roof of mouth; operculum without spines; 11-17 gill rakers; pectoral medium, blunt, 20-24 rays, fin stiff to tip; dorsal and anal bases similar length, almost 2x head length; dorsal 20-26 rays, anal 20-26 rays; pelvics pointed, under pectoral base, close-set, I, 5, broadly attached to belly; tail slightly concave (forked in juvenile); scales small, smooth, imbedded.

Overall brown.

Size: 40 cm.

Habitat: oceanic, hosts are billfishes.

Depth: 0-200 m?

Circumtropical; southern California to northern Peru, throughout our region except for the upper Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Offshore
  • Offshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Water column only
  • Near Surface
  • Water column
  • Large fishes (billfishes, rays, sharks, etc), turtles & whales
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Ectoparasite cleaner
  • Planktivore
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Ectoparasites
  • Bony fishes
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West)
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America)
Regional Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 200