Batfish

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 Platax teira is common in Philippines waters

This is one the species most typically associated with the description of ‘batfish’. Also belonging to the Ephippidae family, the Platax tiera (or longfin batfish) can be found across the Indo-Pacific region, often enjoying the surroundings of shipwrecks, floating seaweed, anchored boats and mooring ropes.  Juveniles don’t look much like their adult counterparts, but are masters of mimicry, pretending to be leaves or even flatworms to hide from predators. Platax tiera are omnivores, eating algae as well as invertebrates, plankton, corals and anemones. They are curious fish, often schooling with other species and approaching divers to present a fantastic photo opportunity.

Yes, we found this specie in Coron wrecks, they came near as if asking for food and followed us just like a pup. Our latest dive gave me an opportunity to interact again with this curious fish. As soon as we deflated our BCs, they were there swimming coyly as if waiting for us.  As we navigated around, another batfish followed us all the way through until we had our safety stop. It was our company silently watching us, so amusing!

The above photo was taken at Olango Island, Cebu

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