Aquarium Fish

Longnose Batfish

posted: 05/15/12
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Longnose Batfish
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Longnose Batfish has a horizontally flattened body, mottled reddish-brown to a dark tan; it may have dark spots along the sides and fins. In behavior, it is closely related to frogfish.

The Longnose Batfish has a moveable antennae-like structure on its nose. When hungry, the Longnose nearly freezes on the sea floor, moving this antennae back and forth. When a small fish gets curious and moves in for inspection, the Longnose opens its mouth and sucks in the unsuspecting victim.

The Longnose is a very poor swimmer, but has developed very strong pectoral and pelvic fins that it uses as hands and feet to creep along the sea floor. The Longnose Batfish has been seen jumping, crawling, and even walking on "all fours." When threatened, the Longnose Batfish immediately buries itself in the sandy bottom.

Because of its slow locomotion, it cannot even begin to compete with fast-moving fish, so tank mates must be chosen with this in mind. The Longnose Batfish needs an aquarium of at least 110 gallons with a sand/gravel/loose mud substrate. This and dim lighting will provide the best environment for this fish.

The Longnose Batfish requires a diet of crustaceans and polychaete worms along with small feeder fish. It may, however, refuse to eat in an aquarium, but may be tempted with live brine or glass shrimp.

Fish Facts

Name: Longnose Batfish (Ogcocephalus corniger)

Family: Ogcocephalidae

Range: Caribbean

Size: Up to 15 inches

Diet: Omnivore

Tank Set-up: Marine: Gravel or sand bottom

Reef Compatible: Yes

Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4

Minimum Tank Capacity: 75 gallon

Light: Medium

Temperament: Peaceful

Swimming Level: Bottom

Care Level: Moderate

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