Humphead Batfish

Platax Batavianus
Humphead Batfish - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Platax Batavianus
Other names Batavia Batfish, Batfish, Humped Batfish, Moonfish, Zebra Batfish
Size Up to 65 cm (25 in)
Weight Up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Inshore & offshore reefs amongst coral heads & outer reef edges
Depth Range
Humphead Batfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Humphead Batfish is a solitary species but can be found in small group or pairs in depths up to 40 m (131 ft).
  • Batfish are omnivores feeding on small invertebrates & seaweed.
  • The lifespan of Humphead Batfish can be up to 12 years with the average being 5.
  • Juvenile Humphead Batfish are dark in colour and their long fins help them mimic swaying algae and seagrass for protection against predators.
  • They are a popular viewing fish amongst snorkelers & divers. They can also be targeted by anglers.
  • Main predators of Humphead Batfish include other larger predatory fish and sharks.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Aquarium & Reef

The Humphead Batfish is popular amongst recreational snorkelers/divers, aquarium owners and anglers. They are a relatively peaceful fish living on the outer edges of reefs or near structure.

Batfish have a large range across tropical Australian waters which includes Western Australia, Northern Territory & Queensland.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Ephippidae

Genus: Platax

Species: Platax batavianus

Conservation Status

Humpheaded Batfish are not evaluated on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) site. However, as its a fast growing species there are limited concerns of over fishing.

Fish Taste Quality

Humphead Batfish are an average to poor table fish – lots of small bones.

Taste Rating: 2/5

How to catch
Humphead Batfish

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Patternoster Rig, Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Fresh cut flesh baits, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Weed

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Popular

Humphead Batfish
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Reef Compatible: No

Minimum Tank Size: 170 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Outer reef

Danger: None

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