One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A fish of tropical and temperate seas with a flattened body that is round or almost triangular when viewed from above. It typically has a hard or spiny covering.
Family Ogcocephalidae: several genera and species, including the southern African Halieuta fitzsimonsi
- ‘Large and small nudibranchs are everywhere, and batfish, barracuda, sweetlips and large groupers would follow us around.’
- ‘On a typical dive you will see octopus, batfish, turtles, groupers, jacks, morays, barracuda, horse-eye jacks, angel-fish and rays.’
- ‘Shoals of batfish follow the turtles - you never see turtle excrement fouling the reef!’
- ‘Reef life includes batfish, yellowfin tuna and teeming shoals of smaller fish, but divers might also encounter stingrays, turtles, sharks, groupers, snappers and whale sharks.’
- ‘Fish life is also excellent, with an abundance of angelfish, butterflies and wrasse; unusual species like frogfish, ghost pipefish and juvenile batfish are also encountered on occasion.’
- ‘There is a low pinnacle at the entrance, together with several table corals where several groups of large batfish and schools of barracuda and jacks cruise in the current.’
- ‘I was bored with photographing co-operative green turtles, so I turned to barracuda, batfish, groupers and a lone zebra lionfish.’
- ‘Large batfishes look at divers with much the same regard as divers look at them.’
- ‘The legs (they're pectoral fins, really) allow batfish to crawl about the seafloor.’
- ‘We saw crabs, eels, batfish, unicornfish, pufferfish, boxfish, lionfish, squirrelfish, racoonfish, butterflyfish, parrotfish and angelfish, to name just a few.’
- ‘A baby Indian triggerfish is mothered along by a group of dusky batfish; beyond them, large rocks host parrotfish and wrasse, then drop off abruptly, bottoming at around 50m.’
- ‘There are busy cleaning stations along each metre of reef, some for surgeonfish, others for batfish, each seductively changing colour to attract the attention of the cleaning wrasses.’
- ‘When a small fish is tempted and approaches, the batfish opens its mouth and quickly sucks in the unsuspecting victim.’
- ‘The massive Iro has catwalks along most of its length - here batfish shelter in its shade’
- ‘As soon as I had grown accustomed to my borrowed equipment, I was greeted by a solitary batfish, one brown unicornfish, and a squadron of humphead parrotfish, which emerged from under the auspicious jetty in front of me.’
- ‘There are mushroom and staghorn corals, tiger cowries and batfish.’
- ‘Schools of pelagics sweep by, reef sharks slink in the depths, and curious batfish shadow divers.’
- ‘As we were getting accustomed to the unusual topography, a pair of bottom-dwelling juvenile batfishes drifted lazily by.’
- ‘At the stern I play tag with a cautious batfish but fail to get close.’
- ‘It is a relative easy, shallow dive with a maximum depth of about 45 ft, with nice hard coral formation and friendly batfish and moray eels.’
2A deep-bodied, laterally compressed marine fish of the Indo-Pacific region that resembles an angelfish.
Genus Platax, family Ephippidae: several species, including the large P. pinnatus (also called angelfish)
- ‘These include the flashlight fish in the Indo-Pacific, the rosy-lipped batfish of the Galapagos and Cocos islands, and unbelievably vividly coloured Spanish dancers.’
- ‘Unfortunately the visibility is a milky 5m, though this doesn't detract from the huge shoals of snapper and the angelfish, batfish and giant grouper that call this oasis home.’
- ‘These are reminiscent of the batfish of the Indo-Pacific but much less brutal in the looks department.’
- ‘Soft corals sway with the current, while schools of striped and spotted groupers, angelfish, batfish and lionfish dart between them.’
- ‘But with less marine life - a school of batfish was the only highlight - I thought at the back of my mind that my return visit was far less thrilling.’
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