We’ve long associated the world famous fish farmers of Bali Aquarich with the captive bred pinnatus batfish which was one of their first breakout cultured marine fish to hit the aquarium hobby. This 2010 landmark breakthrough was followed up with another great hobby first in 2014 with captive bred zebra batfish, Platax batavianus.
Although both species grow up to be huge two foot fish which can each feed an entire family there’s no denying that the juveniles are some of the most radical and interesting looking of all marine fish since they’re known to mimic leaves, flatworms and other unusual elements of the marine environment. It would be reasonable to assume that the radical red outline of the pinnatus batfish and the lacey, long batwings of the batavianus batfish would combine to create something truly wild and spectacular but that’s not really the case this time.
Alas, unlike the hybrids of angelfish the hybrid Platax batfish is more akin to some butterflyfish or surgeonfish with a color and pattern that is more mild than wild, although it is unlike anything we’ve seen before in juvenile batfish. Interestingly the pinnatus and batavianus have quite similar color and pattern as adults so we’d be very curious to see how they turn out but you’ll probably need to visit a public aquarium to see the 24 inch adults.