Longfin Batfish Facts
- Longfin Batfish serves as the common name of the ocean species Platax teira. Due to its rather striking appearance, this fish has become popular in aquariums.
- This unassuming looking also fish holds a few surprises. Among these is the fact that it ranks as one of the fastest growing creatures in any ocean.
- The species forms groups, called schools, like many fish. However, unlike others, it often includes members of other species in the school.
- This ocean denizen often displays a strange affinity for boats, seemingly enjoying swimming along underneath them. It also often approaches divers.
- The creature appears abundant in the wild, as well as captivity. Currently, the IUCN has no listing for it.
Longfin Batfish Physical Characteristics
An adult Longfin Batfish attains an average body length of about 27.5 in (70 cm). The species is rather popular for its highly rounded and compressed body shape.
The color pattern varies widely among individuals. However, combinations of a light brown or yellowish silver are the most common patterns of color. There is also a small vertical bar, dark in color, across the face, and a wider one behind the operculum.
The adults possess highly arched anal fins and a small bony bulge on the forehead. The juvenile Longfin Batfish develop distinctly different in appearance from the adults. It possesses a short body, extremely tall anal fins, and displays no bulge on the forehead.
Species: P. teira
Longfin Batfish Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The native habitat range of the Longfin batfish covers most of the Indo-Pacific region. There it lives near the east coast of Africa and the Red Sea to Papua New Guinea, but also as far north as the Ryukyu Islands, and Australia in the south end of its range.
The adults also usually prefer to inhabit seaward reefs and coastal lagoons, while the young typically stay in seagrass meadows and areas of mangrove.
The Longfin Batfish primarily appears to prefer very shallow regions of the ocean, most commonly living at depths of roughly 65 ft (20 m).
It evolved as a full-fledged omnivore and generally feeds on a rather wide variety of small invertebrates, plankton, and marine algae.
Despite rather intensive studies, an average lifespan in the wild remains unknown. However, those living in captivity live an average of roughly 14 years.