Longfin batfish on the move

Beautiful batfish

Longfin batfish on the move
Longfin batfish on the move

We had a beautiful dive in the Lagoon Tank at uShaka Marine World earlier this month on our way home from Sodwana. The longfin batfish are some of Tony’s favourite fish (he’s also very fond of Moorish idols). They are robust, and these particular specimens (most of them) are in such good shape that they look as though they are made of plastic. When Tony used to teach confined water skills in the Lagoon, the batfish would occasionally take umbrage at his mask strap or a piece of his gear, and come and bite him on the head.

Longfin batfish
Longfin batfish

They swim by in a school, very leisurely, but are capable of extraordinary bursts of speed – they seem to know when you’re trying to take a photograph.

Injured batfish
Injured batfish

One of the batfish has a wound on his head at the moment – perhaps from a snorkeler’s fin, or a stray weight dropped carelessly into the tank. Or, a gunfight. One never knows. Whatever the cause, he didn’t seem sluggish or to be struggling to keep up with the rest of the school.

Injured batfish
Injured batfish

Here they are, briefly, in motion. Magnificent!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7Bnmvck_II&w=540]

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Clare

Lapsed mathematician, creator of order, formulator of hypotheses. Lover of the ocean, being outdoors, the bush, reading, photography, travelling (especially in Africa) and road trips.

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