Naucrates ductor   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Sultanate of Oman

Size: 60-70 cm.

Color: Dark to pale bluish with 5-7 broad dark bars including one at the end of the caudal peduncle. The caudal lobes are with prominent white tips. Small white tips also occur on the second dorsal and anal lobes. The pelvic and pectoral fins are yellow.

Body has an elongate,shallow and barely compressed body with nearly equal dorsal and ventral profiles. The head profile is produced into a nearly slant snout. The mouth is relatively small and terminal and bears a band of minute feeble teeth in each jaw. Fins include two dorsal fins. The first dorsal fin has 4-5 short spines with some of the spines, especially the first, being minute or embedded in adults. This is followed by a second dorsal fin with 1 spine and 15-17 soft rays. The caudal fin is forked. Scales small; no scutes on lateral line, caudal fin with a slight keel on each side.

Dioecious, external fertilization. Eggs are pelagic.

Oceanic species with a semi-obligate commensal relationship with sharks, rays, other bony fishes and turtles. Young are usually associated with jellyfish and drifting seaweed.

Synonym (s)
Gasterosteus antecessor Daldorf, 1800
Scomber koelreuteri Bloch and Schneider, 1801
Centronotus conductor Lacepede, 1802
Naucrates indicus Lesson, 1829
Seriola dussumieri Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1833
Naucrates cyanophrys (Swainson, 1839)
Naucrates indicus Bleeker, 1853
Naucrates ductor Gunther, 1860
Naucrates indicus Kner, 1867
Naucrates et Nauclerus Lutken, 1865
Naucrates ductor Klunzinger, 1871
Naucrates ductor Bleeker, 1872
Naucrates ductor Gunther, 1876
Naucrates ductor Day, 1888
Naucrates ductor Lutken, 1880
Naucrates ductor Macleay, 1881
Naucrates ductor Klunzinger, 1884
Naucrates ductor Jordan and Evermann, 1896
Naucrates ductor Jordan and Evermann, 1905
Naucrates ductor M. Weber, 1913
Naucrates indicus Wakiya, 1924
Naucrates ductor Barnard, 1927
Naucrates ductor McCulloch, 1926
Naucrates ductor Fowler, 1928
Gasterosteus ductor Linnaeus, 1758
Naucrates ductor Day, 1878
Gasterosteus ductor Linnaeus, 1758
(Senior synonym)
Hemitripteronotus quinquemaculatus Lacepede, 1801
(Junior synonym)
Nauclerus abreviatus Valenciennes, 1833
(Junior synonym)
Nauclerus annularis Valenciennes, 1833
(Junior synonym)
Nauclerus brachycentrus Valenciennes, 1833
(Junior synonym)
Nauclerus compressus Valenciennes, 1833
(Junior synonym)
Nauclerus leucurus Valenciennes, 1833
(Junior synonym)
Nauclerus triacanthus Valenciennes, 1833
(Junior synonym)
Naucrates angeli Whitley, 1931
(Junior synonym)
Naucrates cyanophrys Swainson, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Naucrates ductor (Linnaeus, 1758)
(Senior synonym)
Naucrates fanfarus Rafinesque, 1810
(Junior synonym)
Naucrates indicus Lesson, 1831
(Junior synonym)
Naucrates noveboracensis Cuvier, 1832
(Junior synonym)
Naucrates polysarcus Fowler, 1905
(Junior synonym)
Naucrates serratus Swainson, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Seriola dussumieri Valenciennes, 1833
(Junior synonym)
Seriola succincta Valenciennes, 1833
(Junior synonym)
Thynnus pompilus Gronow, 1854
(Junior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Pilot Fish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, gamefish, aquarium. Marketed fresh or frozen, dried and salted)

Habitat:  Pelagic, Reef Associated, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Scraps of host's left over, parasites and excrement; also on small fishes and invertebrates
Predator:  Coryphaena hippurus


• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• Gulf of Oman
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Vishakhapatnam INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - index/
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Goswami, BCB (1992) Marine fauna of Digha coast of West Bengal, India Journal of Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 34 115-137 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Day, F (1981) The fishes of Malabar 1-281 Available at - CMFRI, Kochi
  • Tun, MT (2001) Marine fishes of Myanmar (pelagic and demersal) U Than Tun, Director-General, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Myanmar 276 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Al-Abdessalaam, TZS (1995) Marine species of the Sultanate of Oman p 412 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Weber, M; Beaufort, LF (1931) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago Print times, Pataudi house, Daryaganj, New Delhi 6 448 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at -
  • Shameem, A and Dutt, S (1986) Fishes of the family carangidae from Visakhaptnam: List if species and new records from the Indian seas Journal of the marine biological association of India The marine biological association of India 28(1&2) 159-162 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-10-18

Back to Search