Roundface Batfish, Platax teira (Forsskål 1775)


Other Names: Longfin Batfish, Round-faced Batfish, Spotbelly Batfish, Tail-fin Batfish, Tiera Batfish

A Roundface Batfish, Platax teira, at the Ribbon Reefs, Queensland . Source: Will White. License: All rights reserved

Summary:
A silvery to greyish-brown batfish with a low hump on the nape (adults) and a characteristic dark blotch on the lower sides. Other features include a dark to dusky band through the eye, a second band at the level of the pectoral fins, a third indistinct band from the dorsal fin to the anal-fin origin, and often yellow to dusky-yellow pelvic fins. 

Very small juveniles are brownish and resemble floating leaves. Larger juveniles have the pelvic fins and anterior soft rays of the dorsal and anal fins very elongated; the elongate pelvic fins only reach to about the rear end of the anal-fin base.

Video of a juvenile Roundface Batfish

Video of Roundface Batfish in Palau

Video of a cranky Roundface Batfish
attacking a camera.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Platax teira in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2210

Roundface Batfish, Platax teira (Forsskål 1775)

More Info


Distribution

Recorded in Australia from Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia, to Bermagui, New South Wales; also Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, WA, Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, Christmas  and Cocos (Keeling) islands in the Indian Ocean, and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, widespread in the tropical Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea and East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to southern Japan, south to Australia and northern New Zealand.

Features

Meristic features: Dorsal fin V-VI, 28-37, spines hidden in front margin of fin; Anal fin III, 22-28; Pectoral fin 16-18. 

Body deep, strongly compressed, head profile almost vertical, large adults (> 35 cm SL) with bony hump from top of head to interorbital region; five pores on lower jaw. Jaws with bands of slender, flattened, tricuspid teeth, the middle cusp slightly longer than lateral cusps; vomer with a few teeth, palatine teeth absent.

Colour

Yellowish silvery or dusky, with a black (or dusky) bar through eye and another dark bar from dorsal-fin origin across rear edge of operculum and pectoral-fin base to belly, where it usually encloses a black blotch, with another smaller black vertical streak often present at origin of anal fin. Median fins dusky yellow, with black margins posteriorly. Pelvic fins yellow, dusky yellow or blackish. 

Feeding

Omnivore - feeds on zooplankton, benthic invertebrates and algae.

Biology

Large adults inhabit protected reefs in sheltered bays and deeper offshore reefs to 70 m, occasionally forming large schools. Small juveniles resemble leaves and swim with floating debris. Juveniles may form schools beneath Sargassum rafts.

Fisheries

Of minor commercial importance in parts of its range. The long-finned juveniles are popular aquarium fishes.

Species Citation

Chaetodon teira Forsskål, 1775, Descriptiones animalium: 60. Type locality: Lohaja, Red Sea.

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Roundface Batfish, Platax teira (Forsskål 1775)

References


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

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. & 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. & 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.

Blaber, S.J.M., J.W. Young & M.C. Dunning. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 36: 247-266.

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.

Francis, M.P. 1991. Additions to the fish faunas of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pac. Sci. 45(2): 204-220.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Francis, M.P., C.J. Worthington, P. Saul & K.D. Clements. 1999. New and rare tropical and subtropical fishes from northern New Zealand. N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 33: 571-586.

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. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F.E. (ed.). The Marine Flora and fauna of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

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.

Hutchins, J.B., Williams, D.McB., Newman, S.J., Cappo, M. & Speare, P. 1995. New records of fishes for the Rowley Shoals and Scott/Seringapatam Reefs, off north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 17: 119-123.

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. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

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

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.

Marimuthu, N., J.J. Wilson & A.K. Kumaraguru. 2005. Teira batfish, Platax teira (Forsskal, 1775) in Pudhumadam coastal waters, drifted due to the tsunami of 26 December 2004. Current Science 89(8): 1310-1312.

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.

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:37362004

Depth:3-25 m (perhaps to 70 m)

Fishing:Minor commercial; aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:70 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map