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Platax pinnatus: Wikis


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Orbicular Batfish
Dusky Batfish
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Subkingdom: Bilateria
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Acanthuroidei
Family: Ephippidae
Subfamily: Platacinae
Genus: Platax
Series: Percomorpha
Species: P. pinnatus
Binomial name
Platax pinnatus
Linnaeus, 1758

Platax pinnatus, also known as Dusky batfish or Red Faced Batfish is a fish from the western Pacific that occasionally is kept in marine aquariums.


Anatomy and morphology

As a Juvenile it is brown with orange stripe outlining its entire body. Adults become a dull silver. This fish grows to a maximum size of 45cm.

Importance to humans


In captivity

This is almost always a poor choice of fish for an aquarium. They are poor shippers, and typically die within the first few days in the aquarium. Even compared to other batfish they are known for being fragile. Those few that do survive lose their juvenile coloration and exhibit an adult color form typically considered less attractive.

To have some chance of successfully keeping this fish, a quite tall aquarium is desirable. Because this fish is so tall, long aquariums significantly constrain its movement. Another key factor is to introduce this fish as the dominant fish in the aquarium. Its fins are irresistible targets for nippers like damsels, puffers, butterflies, and angels, let alone triggers. Once its fins are nipped there is little chance of this shy species to start feeding and typically they starve to death afterwards. Firefish and percula clowns have proven to be great tank mates as they are peaceful and would encourage a newly introduced specimen to start eating.

Fresh water dips upon arrival is a MUST as this species is extremely prone to ick and gill flukes.

In the wild

Platax pinnatus has been observed to significantly reduce algal growths on coral in studies simulating overfishing on the Great Barrier Reef.[1]


  1. ^ Brahic, Catherine (2006-12-18). "Batfish may come to Great Barrier Reef's rescue". New Scientist (Reed Business Information Ltd.). Retrieved 2007-04-06.  


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