The Longfin Batfish
The Longfin Batfish or Tallfin Batfish, are the common names given to the ocean species Platax Teira. Their appearance is striking and their nature very curious, so don’t be surprised if you find them tagging along on your dive, checking you out all the way!
Where Can I see them?
At Scubafish, we are lucky enough to see these beautiful fish on a regular basis. Several of our dive sites, such as Koh Haa, have numerous places they are known to hang out. Whilst lately on Bida Nok in the Phi Phi island group, there have literally been dozens in the same spot for weeks. One of our popular wreck dives, the Glaed Kaow, also has several resident Batfish.
Platax Teira, also known as the Teira Batfish, Longfin Spadefish, or Round faced Batfish is a fish originally from the Indo-West Pacific. An adult Longfin Batfish attains an average body length of approximately 27.5 in (70 cm).
The adults typically prefer to inhabit seaward reefs and coastal lagoons. The young are typically found in seagrass meadows and areas of mangrove. The Longfin Batfish is most commonly found at depths of approximately 65 ft (20 m), although, as at Phi Phi, can be only meters from the surface.
The juveniles of this species mimic water-logged plant debris and are usually found in shallow water habitats (e.g., mangrove swamps). That said, adolescent fish are also found associating with floating rafts of Sargassum algae.
The fish are sometimes observed in loose aggregations. This particular member of the genus has very long pelvic, anal and dorsal fins. This species feeds primarily on algae and encrusting invertebrates, which is scrapes from the substrate with the bands of slender, tricuspid teeth that adorn the jaws. In this respect, adult Batfish can help prevent coral reefs from being smothered by macro algae.
The species is well known for its highly rounded and compressed body shape. The colour pattern varies widely among individuals. However, various combinations of a light brown or yellowish silver are the most common patterns of colour. There is also a small vertical bar, dark in colour, across the face, and a wider one behind the operculum.
Adults possess highly arched anal fins, and a small bony bulge on the forehead. The juvenile Longfin Batfish are distinctly different in appearance from the adults. They possess a short body, extremely tall anal fins, and display no bulge on the forehead. They feed on invertebrates, plankton, and marine algae.
Book your dive trip with Batfish
Why not book your next dive trip with Scubafish here and see for yourself how great these striking and curious fish are to dive with. You might be lucky enough to find one wanting to be your buddy on the dive!