pilot fish


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)

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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.

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 (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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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pilot fish — Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum …   Wikipedia

  • Pilot fish — Pilot Pi lot, n. [F. pilote, prob. from D. peillood plummet, sounding lead; peilen, pegelen, to sound, measure (fr. D. & G. peil, pegel, a sort of measure, water mark) + lood lead, akin to E. lead. The pilot, then, is the lead man, i. e., he who… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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) …   English World dictionary

  • pilot fish — noun 1. : a pelagic carangid fish (Naucrates ductor) that often swims in company with a shark 2. : banded rudderfish 3. : menominee whitefish * * * pilot fish noun A carangoid fish that accompanies ships and sharks …   Useful english dictionary

  • pilot fish — /ˈpaɪlət fɪʃ/ (say puyluht fish) noun (plural pilot fish or pilot fishes) any of various species of carangoid marine fishes which accompany and were once thought to act as guides to sharks, as Naucrates angeli of Australian and New Zealand waters …   Australian English dictionary

  • pilot fish — locmanas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas rūšis atitikmenys: lot. Naucrates ductor angl. lootsman; pilot fish; rudderfish; shark pilot rus. восточный лоцман; лоцман; рыба лоцман ryšiai: platesnis terminas – locmanai …   Žuvų pavadinimų žodynas

  • pilot fish — Carangidae Carangidae n. 1. large family of narrow bodied marine food fishes allied to the mackerels, with widely forked tails; chiefly of warm seas; it includes the {caranx}, {American bluefish}, and the {pilot fish}. Syn: family Carangidae.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pilot fish —  Junior executives who follow close behind senior management.  See also brown noser, ass kisser.  ► “Our nations’ bulging inventory of business cliches is spun out by pundits, picked up by senior executives, and regurgitated by pilot fish… …   American business jargon

  • pilot fish — noun Date: 1634 a pelagic carangid fish (Naucrates ductor) that has dark stripes and often swims in company with a shark …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pilot fish — noun A marine fish, Naucrates ductor, that often follows large vessels and sharks …   Wiktionary


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