Characterful and colourful animal has a neat party trick

Author: Pat
5th February 2012

The characterful and distinctive little Lumpsucker has a neat party trick: sticking onto things.

The solitary Lumpsucker has a cheeky, slightly ‘surprised’ expression and grows up to 50cm in length. Its pelvic fins have evolved into a sucker, enabling it to attach to rocks and hang on in strong currents.

Ordinarily the animal’s flank is grey or dull blue in colour, although during mating season the female turns green with orange extremities. She’s outdone by the male though: he turns an astonishing red or orange colour.

The Lumpsucker is one of those animals that is both rare and ubiquitous at the same time. True, you won’t see large schools of them performing underwater acrobatics, but they return to the shallows from January to May to spawn at the every year. They also tend to return to the same site, making them easier to find.


  • Divers should look out for Lumpsuckers in kelp on shallow wrecks, rocky outcrops and reefs
  • Found down to about 30m
  • Lumpsuckers live all around the UK


A very nonplussed animal, and will largely ignore visiting divers.

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