Dusky Batfish (Some Intriguing Facts)

Dusky Batfish

Dusky Batfish, also known as Longfin Batfish, Pinnate Spadefish, Pinnate Batfish, Pinnatus Batfish, Shaded Batfish, or Red-faced Batfish, is a type of marine fish from the Ephippidae family.

It lives in the western Pacific Ocean and can be found in some marine aquariums.

Adult dusky batfish usually live alone, hiding under overhangs on deep outer reef slopes up to 20 meters (65 feet) deep.

On the other hand, younger dusky batfish prefer mangroves and sheltered reefs where they hide in caves or under ledges.

These fish eat algae, jellyfish, and other soft-bodied zooplankton.

Sometimes, adult batfish swim together in large groups over open areas. However, these fish are not safe for reef aquariums.

Dusky Batfish Interesting Facts

  • Dusky batfish (Platax pinnatus) are found in the western Pacific Ocean, living in reefs at depths of 15 to 30 meters and thriving in tropical waters.
  • Young dusky batfish are dark brown with red edges, transitioning to a dull silver color and shorter fins as adults. Their body is round and flat, making up 90% to 130% of their standard length.
  • These fish have unique teeth bands consisting of flattened, three-pointed teeth; the middle tooth point is nearly double the size of the side ones.
  • Adult dusky batfish typically live alone under deep reef overhangs, eating algae, jellyfish, and zooplankton; younger ones prefer hiding in mangroves or sheltered reef caves.

Dusky Batfish Habitat

Dusky batfish is found in the Western Pacific Ocean. Its range extends from the Ryukyu Islands to Australia.

However, it’s uncertain if this species exists in the Indian Ocean.

This fish lives in marine environments and is associated with reefs at depths of 15 to 30 meters (49 to 98 feet).

It thrives in tropical waters, specifically between latitudes of 30°N to 23°S and longitudes of 105°E to 171°E.

Water Temperature:Unknown
Water pH:Unknown
Water Hardness:Unknown

Dusky Batfish Physical Characteristics

Size: 17.7 inches (45.0 centimeters)

Dusky batfish grow up to 17.7 inches (45.0 centimeters) long.

The fish has 5 to 6 dorsal spines, 34 to 37 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines, and 24 to 28 anal soft rays.

Younger fish are dark brown or black with bright red edges. As they grow into adults, their color changes to dull silver, and they have shorter fins.

The body of this fish is round and flat, being wider than twice its head length and making up 90% to 130% of its standard length.

The head’s length is about 3 times smaller than the standard body length. Larger dusky batfish have a protruding snout, giving them a concave front profile.

The space between their eyes takes up around one-third to two-fifths of their head length. Their jaws have bands of thin teeth that are flattened and have three points.

The middle tooth point is nearly double the size of the side ones. They have teeth on their vomers but not on their palatines (bones at the roof of the mouth).

There are 3 or 4 pores on each side of their lower jaw without rough edges.

The preopercle (bone near the gill cover) is smooth, and the opercle (gill cover) lacks any spines.

Dusky Batfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Platax pinnatus
Also Known As:Dusky Batfish, Longfin Batfish, Pinnate Spadefish, Pinnate Batfish, Pinnatus Batfish, Shaded Batfish, Red-Faced Batfish
Conservation Status:Unknown

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