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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.

All images Copyright 2020 Olivier Van den Broeck and Greet Meulepas for Beyond scuba. All rights reserved.