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The Association of Echeneids with Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida, USA
Abstract: Fish belonging to the remora family (Echeneidae) attach to other bony fishes, elasmobranchs, sea turtles, manatees, ships, and other floating objects. Echeneids also associate with several cetacean species. Recently, two occurrences of echeneids associating with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the Indian River Lagoon in Florida, USA, were documented. The first occurrence was of an unidentified echeneid observed at close range (< 2 m) attached to a long-term, photo-identified bottlenose dolphin. The second case involved a sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates) attached to a moderately decomposed dolphin. While echeneids associate with several cetacean species, there are few published reports of close-range focal observations of dolphin-echeneid associations. Additionally, occurrences of sharksuckers on moderately decomposed, stranded bottlenose dolphins are not often reported. This paper documents the first published reports of bottlenose dolphin-echeneid associations in the Indian River Lagoon.
Key Words: Remora; sharksucker; Echeneis naucrates; bottlenose dolphin; Tursiops truncatus; Indian River Lagoon, Florida
Document Type: Research article
Page Numbers: 296-298