Tag: Cobia (Rachycentridae)

Cobia (Rachycentron Canadum) are the sole members within their family, Rachycentridae.

Their closest relatives are the Remoras, from the family Echeneidae although unlike the Remoras, they do not have the modified suction pad in the top of the head.

Cobia share not only a similar physical appearance to Remoras, but also a common trait of following larger animals such as Turtles, Sharks and large rays such as Manta Rays.

In local waters they are seldom seen unless in the presence of visiting Whale Sharks (Rhincodon Typus). During such encounters, it is not uncommon to find an entourage of both Remoras and Cobia, easily numbering into double figures.

When large, mature Cobia are accompanying a Whale Shark, some divers mistakenly assume the Cobia is a "baby Whale Shark". This is partly due to their large size (up to 2m) and body shape, but also because of their languid, shark-like swimming motion.

In appearance, Cobia are generally dark brown to almost black above, gradually becoming white on the underside. Juveniles often have two prominent white lines along the body, although this colouration may also be seen in adults during spawning periods.

Adult Cobia in particular have a wide, varied diet consisting of crabs, squid and various species of small fish

Cobia (Rachycentron Canadum) are the sole members within their family, Rachycentridae.

Their closest relatives are the Remoras, from the family Echeneidae although unlike the Remoras, they do not have the modified suction pad in the top of the head.

Cobia share not only a similar physical appearance to Remoras, but also a common trait of following larger animals such as Turtles, Sharks and large rays such as Manta Rays.

In local waters they are seldom seen unless in the presence of visiting Whale Sharks (Rhincodon Typus). During such encounters, it is not uncommon to find an entourage of both Remoras and Cobia, easily numbering into double figures.

When large, mature Cobia are accompanying a Whale Shark, some divers mistakenly assume the Cobia is a "baby Whale Shark". This is partly due to their large size (up to 2m) and body shape, but also because of their languid, shark-like swimming motion.

In appearance, Cobia are generally dark brown to almost black above, gradually becoming white on the underside. Juveniles often have two prominent white lines along the body, although this colouration may also be seen in adults during spawning periods.

Adult Cobia in particular have a wide, varied diet consisting of crabs, squid and various species of small fish

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-011

4 - 5m female Whale Shark (Rhincodon Typus) T-011, photographed during a fantastic encounter at Chumphon Pinnacles, Koh Tao.

Also visible in this photograph are a group of both juvenile and adult Cobia (Rachycentron Canadum).

Alan's picture
Whale Shark T-008

The shark featured in this photograph at Sail Rock is a 4 - 5m female that has been uniquely identified as individual T-008, and is one of our most frequently sighted individuals.