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Juvenile Golden Trevallies piloting a Pink Whipray


Subject: Four juvenile Golden Trevallies (Gnathanodon speciosus) are piloting a Pink Whipray (Himantura fai). Piloting is the behaviour of swimming in front of, close to or constantly following a bigger fish. Juvenile Golden trevallies are known to mimic the behaviour of the related black and white striped Pilotfish (Naucrates doctor) (both species are Jacks/Carangidae) by aggregating around bigger fish (usually sharks, groupers or rays) and so enjoying protection from predators.

Technique: Because blue (the dominant colour in this clip) and yellow (the little Trevallies) are complementary colours (= any two colours which are direct opposites in the colour wheel), the juvenile Trevallies jump off the screen. Just a little enhancement of the contrast in the blue spectrum and a small increase of the saturation of the yellow was enough to make these images pop.