Round Batfish, Platax orbicularis (Forsskål 1775)


Other Names: Cooper Batfish, Narrow-banded Batfish, Orbicular Batfish

A group of Round Batfish, Platax orbicularis - North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Source: Elias Levy / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution

Summary:

A large deep-bodied very compressed fish with a silvery-yellow to dusky body, a dark bar through eye, another bar behind head, yellowish dorsal and anal fins with black margins and black pelvic fins, and small scattered black spots often on the sides. The small reddish-brown juveniles resemble floating leaves drifting amongst flotsam at the surface or moving along the bottom with the current.

Video of a juvenile round Batfish swaying like a leaf at Lembeh Strait, Indonesia.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Platax orbicularis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Nov 2017, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2208

Round Batfish, Platax orbicularis (Forsskål 1775)

More Info


Distribution

Recorded in Australia from Shark Bay, Western Australia, around the tropical north to Moreton Bay, Queensland; also Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.

Widespreadin the tropical Indo-west Pacific, in depths to 30 metres. Inhabits a range of mangrove and reef areas. Juveniles usually occur mangroves and in silty areas, whereas adults prefer sandy areas in deeper waters. Adults are occasionally seen in large schools. 

Features

Dorsal fin V, 34-39; Anal fin III, 25-29. 

Body very deep, strongly compressed; large adults (> 40 cm TL) with a concave snout  profile and a bony swelling between eyes; each side of lower jaw with 5 pores. Jaws with bands of slender, flattened, tricuspid teeth, the middle cusp about twice length of lateral cusps. Teeth absent from palatines and vomer. 

Colour

Silvery-yellow to dusky, with a dark bar through eye and another behind head; body sometimes with several small, scattered black spots; caudal-fin base reddish-brown, fin transparent; dorsal and anal fin yellowish, with black posterior margins; pelvic fins black. Small juveniles reddish brown resembling leaves, with irregular black spots and blotches, small, white (black-edged) ocelli on body and a small black spot at posterior base of dorsal- and anal-fin rays.

Feeding

Omnivore - feeds on small fishes, algae, and invertebrates.

Fisheries

Of minor commercial importance and aquacultured in parts of its range. Also traded in the aquarium industry.

Species Citation

Chaetodon orbicularis Forsskål, 1775, Descript. animalium: 59. Type locality: Djedda, Red Sea.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2017

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Round Batfish, Platax orbicularis (Forsskål 1775)

References


Alcala, A.C. & A.S. Cabanban. 1986. Fry and larvae of fishes and crustaceans in coastal marine waters of Negros Oriental, Negros Island, Philippines. Silliman J. 33(1-4): 10-23.

Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91

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. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

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.

Barros, B., Sakai, Y., Hashimoto, H. & Gushima, K. 2008. Feeding behavior of leaf-like juveniles of the round batfish Platax orbicularis (Ephippidae) on reefs of Kuchierabujima Island, southern Japan. Journal of Ethology 26: 287–293.

Barros, B., Sakai, Y., Hashimoto, H. & Gushima, K. 2011. Effects of prey density on nocturnal zooplankton predation throughout the ontogeny of juvenile Platax orbicularis (Teleostei: Ephippidae) Environmental Biology of Fishes 91: 177–183.

Barros, B., Y. Sakai, H. Hashimoto, K. Gushima & M. Vallinoto. 2012. ‘Better off alone than in bad company’: agonistic colour display in mimetic juveniles of two ephippid species. Journal of Fish Biology 81: 1032–1042 doi:10.1111/j.1095-8649.2012.03377.x

Forsskål, P. 1775. Descriptiones animalium avium, amphibiorum, piscium, insectorum, vermium; quae in itinere orientali observavit Petrus Forskål. Post mortem auctoris edidit Carsten Niebuhr. Adjuncta est materia medica kahirina atque tabula maris rubri geographica. Hauniae : Mölleri 1-20 + i-xxxiv + 1-164, 43, pls.

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. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 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)

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. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

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

Leis, J., Hay, A., Sasal, P., Hicks, A.S. & Galzin, R. 2013. Pelagic to demersal transition in a coral-reef fish, the orbicular batfish Platax orbicularis. Journal of Fish Biology. 83: 466-479. 10.1111/jfb.12182. 

Okiyama, M. 1993. An atlas of the early stage fishes in Japan. Koeltz Scientific Books, Germany. 1154 pp.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 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.

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Taylor, W.R. 1964. Fishes of Arnhem Land. Records of the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land 4: 44-307 figs 1-68

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37362007

Behaviour:Juveniles - mimic leaves

Depth:0-30 m

Fishing:Minor commercial, aquaculture, aquarium fish

Habitat:Coral reefs, mangroves

Max Size:60 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map