The suckerfish (Echeneidae), anciently believed to be able to stay the progress of ships (Latin remora, "delay"). At the battle of Actium, it is said, a fish of this kind stopped the praetorian ship of Antonius in its course, at the moment that he was hastening from ship to ship to encourage and exhort his men, and so compelled him to leave it and go on board another. Hence it was, that the fleet of Caesar gained the advantage in the onset.

One of these fish also stayed the ship of the Emperor Caligula in its course, when he was returning from Astura to Antium. The emperor was very angry that such a little fish could resist at once the sea, the wind, and the force of all his oars, by being merely fastened to his galley. Moreover, he was astonished that, being brought to him, the fish no longer had the strength it had in the water.



  • Pliny. The Natural History ix, 41; xxxii, 1.