Meridian Adventure Dive bring you the monthly Raja Ampat Creature Feature series: Batfish
Raja Ampat is rightly known as the most biodiverse marine ecosystem globally. The abundance of healthy coral reefs and marine species is a diver’s dream. For this series, we will be highlighting a few of our favourite marine creatures that you can see during your visit to the region.
The Long-Fin Batfish, Platax, is a fish species in the Raja Ampat region, especially near jetties, shallowly anchored boats, and seaweed patches found around the islands.
These silver-grey fish have distinct black markings that cross over the eyes and run from the pectoral fin across to the belly. The elongated dorsal and anal fins have yellow colouration, and often a few spots of yellow can be seen closer to the eye regions. The pouting mouth gives the fish a rather sassy look. While not the most flashy of species, these fish can often be found in small to medium-sized schools swimming closer to the surface on shallow reefs and slopes.
It is pretty common to start your dive and soon after start spotting Batfish. These fish provide great photo opportunities while they slowly glide over the reef or are framed by the blue waters surrounding them, where the penetrating light from the surface can give the illusion that they are shimmering. However, these fish are not the strongest swimmers and will often glide along with currents feeding on the algae, plankton, and small invertebrates being taken by the currents.
Most notably, these Batfish will often decide to buddy up with a single diver and often spend the entire dive shadowing you or even swimming right up alongside your body. Many local dive guides even claim to have a best Batfish buddy on specific dive sites. This social fish will often even form schools with other species of fish. Additionally, these fish have been proven to be very intelligent. They will constantly adapt their routines or swimming route to match the currents bringing their food source or even match times when divers or swimmers usually visit a dive site.
While visiting Raja Ampat, you are sure to make a friend with one of these interesting fish.
About Meridian Adventure Dive
Situated in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Meridian Adventure Dive is a PADI 5 Star Resort and winner of the PADI Green Star award. Scuba Divers enjoy our professional services that have become synonymous with both the PADI and Meridian Adventure names.