Tailfin Batfish Koh Tao


Learn about the Tailfin Batfish on Koh Tao

Tailfin Batfish are also known as the Longfin Batfish and they are one of the most curious types of fish in the marine environment around Koh Tao.

Tailfin Batfish have been known to swim up to the masks of scuba divers and even follow the diver around for a period of time.

Meet Koh Tao's Unique Marine Resident: The Tailfin Batfish | BlackTurtleDive.com

Where to find the Tailfin Batfish on Koh Tao

Tailfin Batfish can be found around many of the dive sites on Koh Tao and the most common ones are White Rock, Twins Peaks and Japanese Gardens where you can find them swimming around.

However, Chumphon Pinnacle, Sail Rock and Junkyard Reef are home to larger shoals that are commonly seen together in the same location.

How to identify the Tailfin Batfish

As a juvenile, Tailfin Batfish have a more boomerang shaped body and they have the ability to lay sidewards and mimic a flatworm.

Once Tailfin Batfish begin to mature, they grow larger and form a spade-shaped body with a dark vertical bar down the middle of their body and a smaller one across their face, which ranges from a silvery grey color to a dusky black.

Tailfin Batfish have long dangling ventral fins that are commonly bright yellow and are located just below their face.

Tailfin Batfish - Marine Life
Tailfin Batfish – Marine Life

Tailfin Batfish Characteristics & Behaviour

Tailfin Batfish are fully-fledged omnivores and eat a balanced diet of various marine algae, plankton and smaller invertebrates.

As social marine animals, Tailfin Batfish form into groups known as schools and they can be seen in large numbers around many of the reefs together keeping safe in numbers.

Social Marine Animals

An interesting observation is that Tailfin Batfish often allow other species of fish to join them.

Despite lengthy research little is known about the breeding habits of Tailfin Batfish or how old they live to be.

It is assumed that Tailfin Batfish breed in open water and give birth to live larvae that form their noticeable juvenile arch shape when they are just a few centimetres long.

Tailfin Batfish - Marine Life Koh Tao
Tailfin Batfish – Marine Life Koh Tao

Interesting facts about the Tailfin Batfish

Tailfin Batfish can grow up to seventy centimetres (70cm) long and have an extremely fast growth rate and are one of the fastest growing fish in our oceans.

Scientists believe the Tailfin Batfish are one of the smartest fish in our oceans and can recognise an individual person.

From our perspective as scuba divers, this theory is backed up with their very inquisitive nature of approaching very close to divers.

On Koh Tao there are a school of Tailfin Batfish that have been known to follow divers around the dive site for the whole of the dive.

Tailfin Batfish Koh Tao
Tailfin Batfish Koh Tao