Definition of remora in US English:



  • A slender marine fish which attaches itself to large fish by means of a sucker on top of the head. It generally feeds on the host's external parasites.

    Family Echeneidae: several genera and species, in particular the widespread Remora remora

    Also called sharksucker, suckerfish
    • ‘These creatures often swim in the company of other smaller fish, including remoras or shark-suckers, which seem to use the pressure-wave made by the forward progress of the larger animal, and hide in its shade.’
    • ‘There was a massive cloud of spawning jellyfish (non-stinging, luckily), plus a constant swirling tornado of red-toothed triggerfish and a remora that fell in love with us and wouldn't leave us alone.’
    • ‘He just moves on, as if we were unworthy of his attention, like the remoras which hitch a free ride on his flanks, and which he brushes off if they carelessly move within reach of his flippers.’
    • ‘The rays are hotly followed by tarpon and a couple of big remora, not to mention a shoal of piranha-like reef fish who would have chewed their way through our chum buckets, given half a chance.’
    • ‘I did, however, enjoy an ancient loggerhead turtle festooned with remoras and a hogfish in its distinctive night camouflage.’
    • ‘On a night dive we were met by several dozen massive tarpon, with remoras patrolling below the boat under the floodlights.’
    • ‘An eagle ray swims by lazily, escorted by two large remoras.’
    • ‘I can't get my camera and myself lined up without touching the reef, so hold the camera at arm's length and shoot blind with everything on automatic, hoping to capture a remora cleaning a shark's gills.’
    • ‘Its small dorsal fin gave away its position, along with the two enormous white remoras that rode in parallel position on its back, heads out of the water, looking for all the world like a pair of matching gargoyles.’
    • ‘The cobia is known to swim with sharks and other large species as the remora does.’
    • ‘Perhaps the best indication of scale are the remoras clinging beneath its chin.’
    • ‘Those days were great for snorkeling and we saw all sorts of sea life, including sharks and spotted eagle rays complete with remoras.’
    • ‘Green blood pulsed into the water, half a dozen remoras dashed around in panic.’
    • ‘Large remoras may attach themselves to turtles and act as cleaners, removing various external parasites.’
    • ‘The remoras themselves are covered with little parasites, crustaceans called copepods.’
    • ‘Flipping onto my back, I then sidled underneath the larger of the two like an oversized remora.’
    • ‘He's there for comic relief and to occasionally drop tips; aside from that, he leeches off your glory, much as a remora follows a shark.’
    • ‘As he cruised around with a camera the size of Surrey, I felt like a remora trying to clean a whale shark.’
    • ‘Your first dive will probably find you very excited about meeting your first giant green turtle, bedecked with remoras, lethargically allowing you to record its portrait.’
    • ‘They do no harm to their host and often a larger fish will return to pick up its remoras should they become separated.’


Mid 16th century: from Latin, literally ‘hindrance’, from re- ‘back’ + mora ‘delay’ (because of the former belief that the fish slowed down ships).