Staff Favorites Round 2: Lumpsucker Love

By Sally Tang

It’s time for round 2! While combing through our staff’s favorite creatures we received an incredible amount of love for the Pacific Spiny Lumpsuckers.

Lumpsuckers are located in the Hall of Fishes and you might be able to immediately distinguish them by their spherical, orb-like shape. They are often described as comical, goofy, and as a ping pong with fins but their most distinctive features is their once set of pelvic fins that have fused together to form a large suction disk along their belly. Lumpsuckers have incredibly tiny fins that hinder their ability to swim so they rely heavily on their evolutionary suction disk in order to securely anchor themselves to rocks, kelp and eel grass. Are you as obsessed with them as our staff is yet? Check out their lumpsucker love responses below! 

Suction disk of Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker at Birch Aquarium

The suction disk of the Lumpsucker that allows it to stick to virtually any surface!

Kaelie – Aquarist Team

They are like ping-pong balls with fins, and I look forward to their adorable derpy faces greeting me every morning.

Sheri – Administration Office

Besides it being fun to say their name, they are THE CUTEST little roly-poly fishes!  It’s fun to watch them “hop” and swim around, knock each other off a kelp frond and blow kisses at me (ok, so it’s just them breathing).


Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker attached to plant

Lumpsucker attaching itself firmly to a plant


Lindsay – Finance Office 


  1. Eye to Head ratio makes for amazing anthropomorphizing (read: they are cute)
  2. Their pectoral fins are so small in comparison to their round bodies that they are extremely inefficient swimmers (read: hilarious when moving around)

Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker


Helen – Visitor Services Department

They are so happy! Their faces look like they are smiling, their big eyes are super expressive, and they swim like Marvin the Martian =D You just can’t help but smile when you look at them.

Camila – Education Department

I love the tiny lumpsuckers because it looks like they’re puttering around when they swim and I think it is so cool that they’ve adapted to have a sucker on their body.