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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Indo-Pacific Reef (Tropical Diver)
  • Ocean Voyager

Range / Habitat

  • Longfin batfish occurs in the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to the Ryukyu Islands and south to Australia.
  • Juveniles inhabit sea grass meadows, mangrove areas and floating sargassum weed beds in shallow protected inner reefs.
  • Adult is usually found from coastal lagoons out to seaward reefs and occasionally in deeper water offshore.
  • Longfin batfish is found most often at depths to 65 feet (20 m).
  • Commonly encountered near a deep wreck, mainly in the mid-waters above it.

Physical Characteristics

  • Adults grow to approximately 27.5 inches (70 cm) in length.
  • The body is rounded and strongly compressed. 
  • Coloration is yellowish silver or dusky in color and have a short dark vertical bar through the eye and another wider bar behind the operculum.
  • Adult has a bony hump on the forehead and its dorsal and anal fins are high and arched, but in proportion to its body.
  • The juvenile looks very different from the adult. It has a very short body with extremely tall dorsal and anal fins and does not have a forehead hump.

Diet / Feeding

  • Feeds on algae and a variety of invertebrates, such as jellies or other plankton.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Adult may be solitary or occasionally form large schools.
  • Juveniles have been observed mimicking floating leaves in coastal waters. They also will form schools under floating rafts of sargassum.
  • It is believed that this batfish spawns in the open ocean and its larvae transform into the tall juvenile when it is less than an inch (25 mm) long.
  • Another common name for this fish is “teira batfish.”

Coral Sea Reef Guide. Halstead, B.
Southeast Asia Tropical Fish Guide. Kuiter, R. H. and Debelius, H.