- pilot fish
n.a narrow, spiny-finned jackfish (Naucrates ductor) with a widely forked tail, often seen swimming near sharks: often written pilotfish [pī′lət fish΄] n. pl. PILOTFISH or pilotfishes (see FISH)
* * *Widely distributed species (Naucrates ductor, family Carangidae) of carnivorous fish that inhabits warm and tropical open seas.It is slender and has a forked tail, a lengthwise keel on each side of the tail base, and a few small spines in front of the dorsal and anal fins. It may grow to 2 ft (60 cm) but is usually about 14 in. (35 cm) long. Five to seven distinctive vertical dark bands mark the bluish body. Pilot fishes follow sharks and ships, apparently to feed on parasites and leftover scraps. It was formerly thought that they were leading, or "piloting," the larger fishes to food.
* * *(Naucrates ductor), widely distributed marine fish of the family Carangidae (order Perciformes). Members of the species are found in the open sea throughout warm and tropical waters.The pilot fish is elongated and has a forked tail, a lengthwise keel on each side of the tail base, and a low first dorsal fin. It grows to a length of about 60 cm (2 feet) but is usually about 35 cm long. It is distinctively marked with five to seven vertical, dark bands on a bluish body. The pilot fish is carnivorous and follows sharks and ships apparently to feed on parasites and leftover scraps of food. It was formerly thought to lead, or “pilot,” larger fishes to food sources, hence its common name.
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