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6, Oct, 2015

Longfin Batfish

Posted in Batfish, Diving News, Latest News by elaine

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!


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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).


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Batfish Behaviour

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.


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Batfish facts:


  • Longfin Batfish grow extremely fast compared to other fish and quickly reach their full size.


  • Research has shown they are clever fish and can recognise individual people.


  • They are very social and form schools with a variety of other species.


  • They are omnivores and eat algae as well as invertebrates and plankton and pick on corals and anemones.


  • They congregate on reefs and under floating seaweed, anchored boats are also a favourite hang out spot.


  • They are unafraid of divers and will often approach them.


  • Nothing is yet known about their mating habits.


  • The juvenile is very different looking to the adult with a very short body and long dorsal and anal fins.


  • The juveniles sometimes mimic leaves in the water.


  • When threatened juveniles can lie down sideways on the bottom to hide and possibly mimic a flatworm.


  • With their shape they are fast and agile but Longfin Batfish are not strong swimmers.




    Batfish 4


    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!

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