Often described as resembling a ping pong ball with fins, the Pacific spiny lumpsucker is a favourite of scuba divers and Aquarium visitors alike. One of the featured fish in our new Stanley Park’s Shores exhibit, the Pacific spiny lumpsucker can be found camouflaged between the seaweed and rocks, or more often suction cupped directly to the acrylic of the exhibit.

Pacific spiny lumpsuckers, Vancouver Aquarium

A Pacific spiny lumpsuckers demonstrating his suction ability.

Pacific spiny lumpsuckers get their name from the spiny lumps or tubercles that cover their small, round bodies. As their appearance might suggest, Pacific spiny lumpsuckers are poor swimmers. Instead, they cling to surfaces using their pelvic fins, which are shaped like suction cups, because their tiny, almost see through fins don’t provide a lot of directional control. Pacific spiny lumpsuckers are found in several different colours including red, orange, green and brown, and they can also have silvery patches on their backs. The Pacific spiny lumpsucker is just one fish species included in the brand new exhibit that displays the surprising diversity of marine life located around the beaches of Stanley Park.

The nutrient rich waters off the British Columbia coast grow millions of fishes, sea stars, mussels and jellyfishes , which attract larger marine mammals that come to feed on them. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Pacific spiny lumpsuckers on your next visit to the Aquarium. They’re just one of the new fish species featured in our expanded spaces and exhibits.

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Each week throughout the summer a new animal will be featured on the AquaBlog focusing on new and unusual marine life at the Vancouver Aquarium. Stay up to date on the latest fish news by subscribing to our RSS feed or following us on Facebook or Twitter

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