The Batfish (also known as Longfin Batfish or Spadefish) is another of the great variety of fish that Koh Tao diving has to offer all levels of divers.
The longfin batfish grow to around 60 cm. They have a dark blotch under the pectoral fin, with another long dark mark above the base of the anal fin. This fish is usually silver, grey or brownish in colour. It has a blackish band through the eye and another band with the pectoral fin. From the side they have a roughly circular body with a low hump on the nape. The juveniles are pretty cute with their very long dorsal and anal fins that become relatively shorter as the fish grows. It’s scientific name is Platax teira.
Where Can You Find Them?
You can find them around Koh Tao they can be seen singly typically at Chumphon Pinnacle, Hin Wong Pinnacle, Twins. Or White Rock and at Sail Rock or South West Pinnacle they can found schooling in large numbers.
What Do They Do?
The batfish is an omnivore and it will eat plankton, small invertebrates, and marine algae. Also popular in private aquariums, not so sure about that. If you want to see them, come diving instead! Batfish are not scared of divers, if you are careful you can get close with your camera for some awesome shots. We know very little about their reproductive activities except that they spawn in the open ocean. But once the juveniles have grown to around 20mm in length they settle around reefs or lagoons where they can be protected from predators. I’ve seen a few hanging around buoy lines when they are bigger than 20 mm.