Pilot fish
  • Naucrates ductor
  • EnglishName: Pilot fish
  • Local Name : Kafihi mas
  • Size : Common to 35 cm; max. 70 cm
  • Family: Order : Specimen
  • Distinctive Characters: First dorsal fin with 4-5 separate spines, second dorsal fin with 1 spine and 25-29 rays. Anal fin with 2 detached spines followed by 1 spine and 15-17 rays. Body elongate, shallow and barely compressed. Caudal peduncle without scutes but with a long fleshy keel on each side. Colour: Silver-grey with 6-7 blue black bars. White tips to caudal lobes, and also on soft dorsal and anal lobes, most of fins dusky to dark.
  • Habitat and Biology: Primarily pelagic in oceanic waters. Occurs solitary, in pairs or in groups. Juveniles drift with seaweed and jellyfish. Shows pilot behaviour.
  • Distribution: Circumtropical.
  • Remarks: Naucrates ductor has a semi-obligate commensal relationship with large sharks, rays and other fishes, turtles and also ships and drift wood.