Well-camouflaged and always grumpy looking, the Rocksucker is one of our favourite fish. They are such characters! I think it’s because they are so ugly, they’re cute (and, of course, because they remind me of Bella)…
The Rocksucker (Chorisochismus dentex) is the largest of its family and we find them at most of our shallower dive sites such as Cow and Calf, Stone Dog, Pinnacle and Steenbras River Mouth.
They can be quite difficult to spot as they are often well camouflaged and tend to have similar patterning to the rock they are “hanging out” on. They use modified pelvic fins to suck onto rocks.
They feed on shells such as limpets which they force off rocks by inserting their lower teeth under the shell and flipping over, using their whole body for momentum.
They seem to be all eyes, mouth and body, with their tails just a tapering off of their round body. They are not usually seen swimming as they seem to be pretty lazy; but if surprised, they can waddle / swim pretty fast if necessary!
Next time you come diving with us in Gordon’s Bay, remember to keep a look out for these characters – they make great photo subjects too and are quite patient and will wait whilst you snap a couple of shots.