woensdag 21 november 2012

Facts about Batfish

A lot of times you see them around when you are diving Sharkpoint, Gili Trawangan or Bounty Wreck, Gili Meno. Its the Batfish. They are so common when and we see then so many times around the Gili Islands, but what do we know about them? Batfishes are recognisable on the basis of their distinctive shape, particulary juveniles, which have greatly elevated dorsal and anal fins. Other characteristics include a small, terminally located mouth, brush like jaw teeth (often with tricuspid lips), a continuous dorsal fin with 5-9 spines and 19-40 soft rays, anal fin with 3 spines and 17-29 rays, and typically a silvery adult colour pattern often with dark bars on the head and body. Members of the genus Platax are extremely tame and curious, often approaching divers at close range. Young fish are found close to the bottom, often around boat moorings, docks, jetties, and floating objects. Adults may form midwater feeding aggregation, frequently adjacent to steep outer reef slopes. The diet consists largely of benthic invertibrates and zooplankton. In their natural habitat the young of P. orbicularis mimic dead leaves, and those of P. pinnatus mimic toxic polyclad flatworms that are nearly identical in colour and shape.

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