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Longnose Batfish
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Batfish
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Ogcocephalus corniger

Longnose Batfish

Quick Stats:   Longnose Batfish

Family: Ogcocephalidae
Range: Caribbean
Size: Up to 15 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Tank Set-up: Marine: Gravel or sand bottom
Reef Compatible: Yes
Tank Conditions: 72-78ºF; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4
Minimum Tank Capacity: 100 gallon
Light: Medium
Temperament: Peaceful
Swimming Level: Bottom
Care Level: Moderate

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 100 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.


Photo courtesy of T.F.H. Publications, publishers of the Burgess Atlas.

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