Humphead Batfish, Platax batavianus Cuvier 1831


Other Names: Batavia Batfish, Batavian Batfish, Batfish, Humped Batfish, Hump-headed Batfish, Moonfish, Zebra Batfish

A Humphead Batfish, Platax batavianus, at Wessel Marchinbar Island, Northern Territory, August 2013. Source: Ian Shaw / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:
A deep very compressed silvery fish with a dark bar through the eye, a second faint bar just behind head and a yellowish tail. Subadults brownish with a black bar from nape, over eye to chest, a second black bar from dorsal-fin origin to pelvic fins; pectoral and pelvic fins dark brown or black. 
Small juveniles are black with irregular wavy white lines, and are very well-camouflaged when sheltering amongst crinoids. 

Video of a juvenile Humphead Batfish

A juvenile Humphead batfish at Cebu Mactan, Philippines

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Platax batavianus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 May 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1046

Humphead Batfish, Platax batavianus Cuvier 1831

More Info


Distribution

Recorded in Australia from Carnarvon, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Moreton Bay, Queensland; also Scott Reef, WA, and Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea. Elsewhere, widespreaad in the tropical, west Pacific (Indo-Australian Archipelago).

Inhabits continental reefs. Adults usually prefer moderately deep open areas with sparse reef or coral heads. Small juveniles also on reefs, often sheltering amongst crinoids.

Features

Meristic features: Dorsal fin VI-VII, 28-31; Anal fin III, 19-23. 
Body deep, strongly compressed; large adults (>40 cm) with  convace snout profile, and a prominent bony swelling between the eyes; bands of slender, flattened, tricuspid teeth in jaws, the middle cusp 3 to 4 times longer than lateral cusps; band of strong teeth on vomer, teeth absent from palatines; 5 pores on each side of lower jaw.

Colour

Large adults (> 40 cm) silvery, with dark bar through eye, a second faint bar just behind head; caudal fin yellowish, other fins dusky. Subadults brownish with a black bar from nape, over eye to chest, a second black bar from dorsal-fin origin to pelvic fins; pectoral and pelvic fins dark brown or black. Small juveniles black with irregular wayv white lines on body and fins. 

Species Citation

Platax batavianus Cuvier, 1831, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 7: 225. Type locality: Jakarta (as Batavia), Indonesia.

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Humphead Batfish, Platax batavianus Cuvier 1831

References


Allen, G.R. 1985. Fishes of Western Australia. Book 9. 2207-2534 526 pls in Burgess, W.E. & Axelrod, H.R. (eds). Pacific Marine Fishes. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications.

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.). Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Blaber, S.J.M., D.T. Brewer & A.N. Harris. 1994. Distribution, biomass and community structure of demersal fishes of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 45(3): 375-396.

Coleman, N. 1981. Australian Sea Fishes North of 30°S. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 297 pp.

Cuvier, G.L. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1831. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 7 531 pp. pls 170-208.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.Heemstra, P.C. 2001. Ephippidae. pp. 3611-3622 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Hutchins, J.B. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Johnson, J.W. & Gill, A.C. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of Sweers Island, Gulf of Carpentaria. Gulf of Carpentaria Scientific Study Report. Geography Monograph Series. Brisbane: Royal Geographic Society of Queensland. pp. 239-260.

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

Kuiter, R.H. & Debelius, H. 2001. Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and Their Relatives. A comprehensive guide to Acanthuroidei. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 208 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. & T. Tonozuka. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Zoonetics, Australia. p. 623-893.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105.

Russell, B.C. & Houston, W. 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 6(1): 69-84.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37362002

Depth:5-40 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:65 cm SL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map