9 photos - 3 species


There are 2 genera and four species.

Batfish are omnivores.

They eat both algae and small invertebrates, and they also like to peck at jellyfish.

The dark-coloured vertical bands above the eyes and lateral fins are characteristic.

They are often found on reef overhangs or shipwrecks. 

Depending on the species, they can reach a size of between 30 and 45 cm.

Platax orbicularis

Orbicular batfish, Cooper batfish, Circular batfish, Orbiculate batfish, Round batfish, Narrow-banded batfish or Orbic batfish

 Maximum length: 57 cm

Depth: 5 - 35 metres

Adults swim in pairs or in groups near reefs.

Juveniles near the coast, in mangroves or in brackish water,

imitating floating leaves lying on their side.

Curved head profile and yellowish pectoral fin.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Embudu Maldives

Platax pinnatus

Longfin batfish, Pinnate spadefish, Pinnate batfish, Pinnatus batfish, Dusky batfish, Shaded batfish or Red-faced batfish

Initiale phase
Initiale phase
Initiale phase
Initiale phase

 Maximum length: 35 cm

Depth: 2 - 50 metres

Juvelins are often found under jetties, but also in deep water in caves.

Adults are usually found singly or in pairs on shallow coasts - up to deep outer reefs or in wrecks.

Photos 1 - 3 Bangka Island North Sulawesi

Photos 4 - 5 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi

Platax teira

Teira batfish, Longfin batfish, Longfin spadefish or

Round faced batfish


 Maximum length: 60 cm

Depth: 1 - 35 metres

Best distinguished from the roundhead batfish by their yellow pelvic fins and a black spot on the belly.

Photo 1 Johnny: Lembeh Strait North Sulawesi

Photo 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt