“It’s like imagining a ping pong ball with tiny fins.”
That’s how Chelsea D., senior veterinary technician, describes the Pacific spiny lumpsucker (Eumicrotremus orbis), her selection for August’s Staff Pick of the Month.
Chelsea wants to highlight this fish because she thinks they often go unnoticed due to their small size and ability to camouflage. Pacific spiny lumpsuckers range in colours from brown to pale aquamarine; the ones at the Vancouver Aquarium are mottled green.
Head into the Treasures of the B.C. Coast exhibit and look closely. They may be stuck onto the side of the exhibit. Pacific spiny lumpsuckers have modified pelvic (hip) fins that act like a suction cup, allowing them to stick to substrates, like rocks and eelgrass.
Chelsea finds their ability to swim surprising because of their small fin-to-body ratio.
She says, “Every time I see these adorable little fish I can’t help but smile. They amaze me and inspire me to continue to learn more about all the animals here.”
Find out about the “condo” living Pacific spiny lumpsuckers in the Aquarium’s research lab. We breed them here.
Written by Karen Horak, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium.