CLASSIFICATION OF ECHENEIS (SUCKER FISH)
Phylum :- CHORDATA (Notochord and dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill-slits present).
Group :- CRANIATA (Cranium with brain present).
Subphylum :- VERTEBRATA (Vertebral column present).
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA (Jaws and paired appendages present).
Super class :- PISCES (Paired fins , gills and skin with scales)
Class :- OSTEICHTHYES (Bony fishes).
SUB-CLASS :- ACTINOPTYERGII (Ray finned fish).
SUPER ORDER :- TELEOISTEI ( Bony fish proper).
Order :- DISCOCEPHALI (Dorsal fin modified into an adhesive disk. Other fins normal).
Family :- ECHENEIDIDAE (Upper surface of head flat with adhesive disk.)
Genus :- Echeneis
The fish (Echeneis) is distributed all over the tropical and warm seas but specially found on the south coast of England, India, Atlantic and Pacific seas
HABIT AND HABITAT
Echeneis is a common marine fish. It swims in water feeding on small fishes. It attaches itself by means of its adhesive disk to boats, sharks, bony fishes, sea turtles and marine mammals.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF ECHENEIS (SUCKER FISH)
- Commonly called as sucker fish.
- Sucking disk is found on head. The disk develops from a transformed spinous dorsal fin, the spines of which are splited to form 10 to 28 transverse movable lamellae inside a fleshy margin. Fish applies the disk against other fish and creates a partial vacuum by operating the sucking action which permits it to obtain rides on larger animals.
- Body is elongated measuring about 1 meter in length and covered with small scales. Pectoral fin inserted high up. Body divided into head, trunk and tail.
- Head is depressed and produced into snout. Eyes are lateral in position. Mouth cleft is wide and deep. Nostril near eye present.
- Second dorsal and anal fins are elongated, opposed to each other and without spines. Ventral fin is with one spine and 5 rays.
- Caudal fin bilobed.
- Tail homocercal.
The sucker fishes are employed to catch turtles on the east coast of Africa by the natives. It is a lazy fish usually remains attached to sharks, turtles and ships. The attachment is quite firm and not easy to detach. The fish shows commensalism. For instance, Echeneis remora attaches the sharks by its modified sucker-like dorsal fin. It feeds on leftovers of the shark. Neither it harms nor benefits the shark.
- This fish has modified dorsal fin as sucker and above features, hence it is Echeneis.