image MS_131_49
Image number: RS.16377
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Pilot fish


April 1700


Edmond Halley (1656-1742, British), Astronomer

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (page): 196mm
width (page): 302mm


   > Zoology
      > Ichthyology

Content object


Side view of a variety of pilot fish [Naucrates ductor] with inscription: 'A Pilot Fish taken in the Latitude of 10 Degrees South near Cape St Augustine.'

This is one of a set of sketches Edmond Halley made during his voyage to the South Atlantic as captain of the Paramore (September 1699- September 1700), which was tasked to take readings of the variations of the magnetic needle in the Atlantic Ocean to improve navigation. (See Alan H. Cook, Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 256-91.)

Paramore arrived at Pernambuco, Brazil in April 1700 from Trinidad, and must therefore have passed by the Cape of St Augustine, south of Recife. (See The Three Voyages of Edmond Halley in the Paramore, 1698-1701, ed. by J. Norman and W. Thrower, 2 vols (London: Hakluyt Society, 1981), I, 188-89.)

On his return, Halley submitted his sketches to a meeting of the Royal Society on 6 November 1700. The sketches were placed in the Repository.


A Pilot Fish taken in the Latitude of 10 Degrees South near Cape St Augustine
Transcribed by the Making Visible project

Object history

At the meeting of the Royal Society on 6 November, 1700, '[Captain Halley] produced several sketches of fishes, and of the Batavian Islands, for which he was thanked, and the sketches ordered to be put into the Repository. The fishes were of two sorts of flying fish &c.' JBO/10/198.

Associated place

<The World>
   > South America
      > Brazil