Lizard fish, Philippines. Photo by Stephane Rochon.

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Cueva de los cerebros
Canary Islands

Remoras, cobias and rainbow runners. Part 22 of my DVD, "Reef Life of the Andaman", available at

In this video we look at more fish that form symbiotic relationships with larger marine life.

Live sharksuckers (Echeneis naucrates), a type of remora, attach themselves to sharks and other marine animals using their first dorsal fin which has evolved into a sucker. The sharksucker gets a free ride and feeds off food scraps left by the host, which also gives it protection. This is known as a commensal relationship, whereby the suckerfish benefits but the host derives neither significant benefit nor harm. Some scientists believe that the remora removes parasites etc. from the host, making the relationship a form of mutualism rather than commensalism. At various dive sites in Thailand and the Mergui Archipelago of Burma (Myanmar) we see live sharksuckers attached to zebra sharks, a whale shark, a spot-fin porcupinefish, a bridled parrotfish, and even a couple of scuba divers.

In another example of commensal symbiosis, the cobia (Rachycentron canadum) is similarly usually found accompanying larger marine animals. We see them following manta rays, blotched fantail rays, and a grey reef shark. The cobia gains some protection from the larger host, and often feeds on its faeces.

Rainbow runners (Elagatis bipinnulata), members of the jack family, are also often seen accompanying larger marine life, but for a different reason. They rub themselves against the skin of the host in order to remove parasites etc. from their own bodies. We see rainbow runners rubbing against a grey reef shark, a whitetip reef shark, and a hawksbill turtle.

The full narration is available as English, German or Spanish subtitles by turning on the closed captions (CC). There are also closed captions available showing scientific and common names of the marine life in English, German or Dutch, along with dive site names.

"Reef Life of the Andaman" is being serialised weekly on YouTube. Please subscribe to my channel to receive notifications of new episodes as I release them. The series features descriptions of 213 different marine species including more than 100 tropical fish, along with sharks, rays, moray eels, crabs, lobsters, shrimps, sea slugs, cuttlefish, squid, octopus, turtles, sea snakes, starfish, sea cucumbers, corals, worms etc..

I have more scuba diving videos and underwater footage on my website at:

I post updates about my videos, and interesting underwater videos from other filmmakers here:

The video was shot by Nick Hope with a Sony VX2000 DV camera in a Gates housing. It was edited in Sony Vegas Pro then deinterlaced with QTGMC and upscaled to 720p HD in AviSynth.

Thanks to Mark Ellison for the music track, "Similan Sunrise".

Thanks to Santana Diving of Phuket (, to Elfi and Uli Erfort and Daniel Bruehwiler for help with the German translation, and to Frank Nelissen for the Dutch subtitles.

Full list of marine life and dive sites featured in this video:

00:00 Live Sharksucker, Echeneis naucrates, Koh Bida Nok
00:09 Live Sharksucker, Echeneis naucrates, Koh Bon
00:19 Live Sharksucker, Echeneis naucrates, Christmas Point
00:28 Whale Shark, Rhincodon typus, Fan Forest Pinnacle
00:35 Live Sharksuckers, Echeneis naucrates, Fan Forest Pinnacle
00:48 Spot-Fin Porcupinefish, Diodon hystrix, Boonsung Wreck
00:57 Live Sharksucker, Echeneis naucrates, Boonsung Wreck
01:06 Bridled Parrotfish, Scarus frenatus, Koh Tachai
01:10 Live Sharksucker, Echeneis naucrates, Koh Phi Phi
01:25 Live Sharksucker, Echeneis naucrates, Staghorn Reef, Racha Yai
01:31 Cobia, Rachycentron canadum, Black Rock
01:37 Manta Ray, Manta birostris, Black Rock
02:05 Blotched Fantail Ray, Taeniura meyeni, Black Rock
02:30 Grey Reef Shark, Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, Shark Cave
02:40 Rainbow Runners, Elagatis bipinnulata, Koh Tachai
02:59 Rainbow Runners, Elagatis bipinnulata, Fan Forest Pinnacle
03:14 Rainbow Runners, Elagatis bipinnulata, Richelieu Rock 04:00

Black Rock

Immersione nel Lago Ceresio, acque limpidissime!! 02:33

Lido di Lugano

HD video clips of diving the USS Vandenberg on Aug 13, 2009.   The 520ft USS Vandenberg was sunk in June 2009 as an artificial reef in 140 feet of water off Key West.    We bagged about 40min of total raw HD footage.   The current was raging.   Copyright 2009, Brian Dombrowski, 04:50

USS Vandenburg
United States of America

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