Remora

Remora, Remora remora

The Remora, Remora remora, who is also known at the common Remora has a common Spanish name is Rémora Tiburonera is a member of the Remora or Echeneidae Family, known collectively as “remoras” and/or “pega pegas” in Mexico.

The Remora has an elongated robust body that is either a uniform gray or a uniform dark brown color. The head has a straight lower and flat upper profile with large black eyes and a short disc, that is 31-33% of standard length, that reaches to the end of the pectoral fins with sixteen to twenty two lamellae. They have twenty eight to thirty seven gill rakers. The lower jaw is projecting and the mouth has numerous small pointed teeth. The anal and dorsal fin bases are of similar size and shape and are significantly longer than the head but less than two times the head length; the caudal fin is forked in juveniles transitioning to straight in adults; the pectoral fins are mid-sized and blunt; and, the pelvic fins are pointed and joined to the belly.

The Remora is an oceanic pelagic that travels attached to its host (Sharks, other large Fishes, Rays and Turtles) and are found at depths up to 650 feet. They reach a maximum length of 86.4 cm (34 inches). Very little is known about the biology of the remora due to their need for fast moving water for survival, making study in captivity impossible.

The Remora is an easy fish to identify due to the lamellae count, the length of the pectoral fins, and to the host on which they were riding. The Remora is found in all Mexican waters of the Pacific, except they are absent from the northern 20% of the Sea of Cortez, and are more common in southern Mexican waters.

The Remora is too rare and too unappealing to be of interest to most. They are most definitely a “catch-and-release.”

Remora (1)Remora (2)

Remora, Remora remora: Fish “caught” as a passenger to a Striped Marlin, January 2007, off the Gordo Point, Baja California Sur. Size: 15 cm (5.9 inches). Fish identification courtesy of H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.

Remora, Remora remora: Fish “caught” as a passenger to a Striped Marlin, January 2007, off the Gordo Point, Baja California Sur. Size: 15 cm (5.9 inches). Fish identification courtesy of H.J. Walker, Jr., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA.