Platax teira Forsskal, 1775, Luhaiya, Yemen, Red Sea.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Teira batfish; French: Poisson lune; German: Langflossen-Fledermausfisch; Japanese: Mikazuki-tsubame-uo.
Body is deep and highly compressed. The dorsal fin is continuous, and the anal, dorsal, and pelvic fins are greatly elevated. Scales are ctenoid and small. The mouth is terminal, with tricuspid teeth. Juveniles also have deep bodies and elevated anal, dorsal, and pelvic fins (the latter extremely long), with the dorsal and anal fins extending backward beyond the caudal fin. These fins are reduced in size somewhat with age (i.e. the fins do not grow with age relative to the rest of the body). Larvae have a deep or moderately deep body and a relatively compressed caudal fin; the head and trunk are combined into a broad, ball-like structure that eventually deepens with growth. There are no scales present on the body of the larvae at settlement. Settlement refers to the transformation of a pelagicdwelling larva to a Reef-dwelling post-larva or juvenile. Grows to more than 17.7 in (45 cm) in length.
Tropical and subtropical waters from the Red Sea and Indian Ocean east to Fiji, north to southern Japan, and south to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Lord Howe Island.
Coral and rocky reefs, usually drop-offs, deep lagoons, and pinnacles along the outer reef to a depth of at least 66 ft (20 m). Juveniles usually are found in protected areas of shallow reefs and bays.
Occurs singly or in small aggregations as adults and juveniles. Juveniles often mimic floating leaves in shallow waters.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Omnivorous, feeding on a variety of small benthic invertebrates and algae.
Probably pair-spawns within aggregations or smaller groups. Eggs and larvae are pelagic.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Collected for the aquarium trade.
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