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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Interesting Pacific spiny lumpsucker facts for kids

A species of bony fish, the Pacific spiny lumpsucker (Eumicrotremus orbis) belongs to the Cyclopteridae family. In the United States, lumpsuckers are found from north of Washington coast to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Chucksi Sea, and north Japan. These fish primarily inhabit a variety of habitats such as the shallow waters, eelgrass beds, rocky reefs, and kelp patches.

The fish are known for their globular shaped bodies with cone-shaped plates, called tubercles. The bodies of the Pacific spiny lumpsuckers are 1-7 in (2.5-18 cm) long. Males have either orange or reddish brown colored bodies while females are pale green in color. Females lay large spherical orange eggs. The pelvic fins of the fishes have changed into a large suction cup. Also, lumpsuckers possess a tail and dorsal fin. The species generally attach themselves to a solid object such as rocks as they are ineffective swimmers.

The Pacific spiny lumpsuckers are carnivores and mainly prey on polychaete worms, crustaceans, and mollusks. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has Not Evaluated the conservation status of the species.

Let's read more interesting facts about the Pacific spiny lumpsucker and if you find this article insightful, don't forget to check out these pumpkinseed sunfish facts and red naped sapsucker facts.  

Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Pacific spiny lumpsucker?

The Pacific spiny lumpsucker (Eumicrotremus orbis) is a carnivorous bony fish that primarily preys on polychaete worms, crustaceans, and mollusks. The fish also possess cone shaped plates on its body called tubercles.

What class of animal does a Pacific spiny lumpsucker belong to?

The Pacific spiny lumpsuckers belong to the class of Actinopterygii, the family of Cyclopteridae, and the Eumicrotremus genus.

How many Pacific spiny lumpsuckers are there in the world?

The exact population of Pacific spiny lumpsuckers is not known as of now but the species is widely distributed in the Pacific Ocean. One can also find the species in the north of the Atlantic Ocean.

Where does a Pacific spiny lumpsucker live?

The Pacific spiny lumpsucker (Eumicrotremus orbis) primarily lives in the Pacific Ocean and are found from north of Washington coast to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Chucksi Sea, and north Japan. Also, lumpsuckers are found in the Atlantic Ocean.

What is a Pacific spiny lumpsucker's habitat?

The Pacific spiny lumpsuckers primarily inhabit a variety of habitats such as eelgrass beds, rocky reefs, kelp patches, and shallow waters. Also, lumpsuckers are ineffective swimmers and usually attach themselves to rocks.

Who do Pacific spiny lumpsucker live with?

Unlike several species, the lumpfish is a solitary species and prefers to live alone but during the breeding season, they come together.

How long does a Pacific spiny lumpsucker live?

The exact lifespan of the Pacific spiny lumpsuckers is not known as of now but a few species of the Cyclopteridae generally live up to 12-13 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season generally occurs between the months of July to October and the spawning takes place in the shallow waters. Females lay around 2000 large spherical orange eggs on rocks that are guarded by the males until they hatch to avoid predation. Using the fin, the males circulate the water to the eggs. Both females and males remain in warm water until their babies turn into juveniles. Also, juvenile lumpsuckers are found around algae clumps most of the time.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has Not Evaluated the conservation status of the species. But in European countries like Norway, the eggs of the fishes are being collected by several fisheries for commercial purposes which is causing a decline in the population. Also, other factors such as predation and climate change are affecting the Pacific spiny lumpsuckers.

Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker Fun Facts

What do Pacific spiny lumpsucker look like?

In this image, one can see the female lumpsucker is attached to the rocks as the species lack the swim bladder. Unlike males, female possesses the pale green body. These fish are known for their globular shaped bodies with cone shaped plates, called tubercles. The pelvic fins of the fishes have evolved into large suction cups. The suction cups help the fish to attach itself to hard surfaces. Also, lumpsuckers possess a tail and dorsal fin.

These rare Pacific spiny lumpsucker facts would make you love them

How cute are they?

The lumpsucker fish is one of the more adorable creatures of the aquatic world and the most fascinating thing about these fishes is their love towards their babies. Both females and males are involved in taking care of the juveniles.

How do they communicate?

Like other species, the Pacific spiny lumpsucker uses similar methods to communicate with each other. Anchovies use touch and sense of smell. Unlike other fishes, this spiny fish possesses plate like structures on its body that act as camouflage and helps to deceive predators. These fish generally hide among rocks and kelp patches when they feel threatened.

How big is a Pacific spiny lumpsucker?

Pacific spiny lumpsuckers are the smallest among the Cyclopteridae family and the average length of the body is 1-7 in (2.5-18 cm).  Some of these fishes are twice the size of the peacock gudgeon and white cloud mountain minnow.

How fast can a Pacific spiny lumpsucker swim?

Pacific spiny lumpsuckers don't have the swim bladder and are known as ineffective swimmers.

How much does a Pacific spiny lumpsucker weigh?

The exact weight of the Pacific spiny lumpsucker is not known but the species of the Cyclopteridae family weigh around 0.11-13 lb (0.04 kg-5.8 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names given to the females and male fishes. Females are generally pale green in color, unlike males.

What would you call a baby Pacific spiny lumpsucker?

People often call the baby Pacific spiny lumpsucker fish alevin. The term, alevin is used to refer to the newly hatched babies or juveniles of fish. The juvenile lumpsuckers are found around algae clumps most of the time.

What do they eat?

Lumpsucker fish are carnivores and primarily prey on polychaete worms, crustaceans such as shrimp, and mollusks. Also, fish such as the Pacific cod, sablefish, and lancefish are the major predators of the lumpsucker fish.

Are they dangerous?

Generally, these solitary fish are not considered dangerous to humans but if someone tries to come closer to the eggs, males could turn violent and attack. Males guard the eggs until they hatch.

Would they make a good pet?

It is not clear whether people keep the lumpsuckers as pets but human made habitats would not suit them. Unlike other fish, Pacific spiny lumpsuckers have poor swimming skills and require hard objects such as rocks. Also, these fish generally dwell in deep waters and eelgrass beds, rocky reefs are a few natural habitats.

Did you know...

People of north European countries generally consume smoked lumpfish. Also, the eggs are quite high in demand.

The pelvic fin helps in the movement of fish. Eels do not possess any pelvic fins.

The term Cyclopteridae is a combination of two Greek words, 'kyklos' and 'pteryx', and the meaning of the words are circle and fins respectively. The species of the Cyclopteridae family possess circle-shaped fins. In this family, there are around 30 species divided into seven genera.

The Cyclopterus lumpus fish is regarded as the biggest fish of the Cyclopteridae family. The average length of the species is around 1.8 ft (50 cm).

Sucker fish are also known as swimming golf balls.

Do lumpfish males carry the babies?

Female lumpsuckers generally lay around 2000 eggs in each season which are guarded by the male fish until they hatch.

What makes lumpfish unique?

The globular shaped bodies with cone shaped plates, called tubercles make the Pacific spiny lumpsuckers unique. Males have either orange or reddish-brown colored bodies while females are pale green in color. Females lay large spherical orange eggs. Sucker fish have poor swimming skills but the pelvic fins act as large suction cups that help them to attach themselves to hard surfaces.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these salmon facts and shark facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Lumpfish coloring pages.

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