Naucrates ductor

Pilotfish NAU
Characteristic features:

Silvery bluish with 6 or 7 black broad bars; all fins dusky to dark; caudal fin with white tips.


Up to 70 cm TL.


Circumglobal in tropical and subtropical waters.


Pelagic in oceanic waters from the surface to 200 m depth.


Adults found in association with large fish, sharks, turtles and floating marine debris. Juveniles found in association with jellyfish. Feeds primarily on scraps of associated species left overs, parasites and excrement, but also small fishes and invertebrates. Probably a species complex

Indonesian fisheries:

Caught by pelagic trawls.

Similar species:

A distinct species easily identifiable by having a fleshy keel and ventral and dorsal notches on caudal peduncle; no separate finlets; a silvery body with 6 or 7 broad black bars and caudal-fin tips prominently white.

Internal links:
External links: