Orbicular batfish

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Orbicular Batfish
Platax Orbicularis in the Egyptian Red Sea.jpg
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Superclass: Osteichthyes
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Ephippidae
Subfamily: Platacinae
Genus: Platax
Species: P. orbicularis
Binomial name
Platax orbicularis
(Forsskål, 1775)
  • Chaetodon orbicularis Forsskål, 1775
  • Chaetodon vespertilio Bloch, 1787
  • Platax vespertilio (Bloch, 1787)
  • Platax ehrenbergii G. Cuvier, 1831
  • Platax blochii G. Cuvier, 1831
  • Platax guttulatus G. Cuvier, 1831

The orbicular batfish (Platax orbicularis), also known as the circular batfish, orbiculate batfish, round batfish, or orbic batfish is a popular aquarium fish which occurs naturally in the tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.


The body of Platax orbicularis is almost disc-shaped, and very thin. Its tail, about 20% of the body length, is fan-shaped and is taller than it is long. Males can grow to up to 50 cm in length, though aquarium specimens are generally much shorter.


In the wild, the orbicular batfish is found in brackish or marine waters, usually around reefs, at depths from 5 to 30 meters. Its range extends from the Red Sea and East Africa in the east to the Tuamotu Islands in French Polynesia in the west, and from southern Japan in the north to northern Australia and New Caledonia. It has been recorded off the coast of Florida, though this may be the result of dumping of aquarium specimens.

Juvenile fish are solitary or live in small groups, among mangroves or other inner sheltered lagoons. Adults are found in more open waters and at greater depth.