Spadefishes, batfishes and knightfishes are members of the Ephippidae family. They are primarily found in marine waters of Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans in a variety of shallow-water habitats, estuaries and coral reefs. Most species are compressed laterally and deep-bodied. They are omnivores feeding on algae, small fishes and vertebrates.

Worldwide, there are 8 genera and about 15 species. Malaysia is represented by 7 species.


Scientific Name: Ephippus orbis  (Bloch, 1787)
English Name: Orbfish
Mandarin Name:圆白鲳 (Yuán bái chāng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Beluru, Daun Baharu, Peluru
Local Hokkien: Pau Cheoh
Main Diagnostic Features: Head and body silvery blue or green. 4 or 5 faint dark blue bars often visible on body. Dorsal spines longer than soft dorsal rays.
Size: Maximum total length 25 cm.

Scientific Name: Platax teira   (Forsskål, 1775)
English Name: Longfin Batfish
Mandarin Name:牛屎鲳 (Niú shǐ chāng), 象耳朵 (Xiàng ěrduo)
Local Malay Name: Tudung Periuk, Telinga Gajah
Main Diagnostic Features: Yellowish silvery or dusky color, with 3 dark bar where one of them runs through the eye. Large adult have prominent hump on nape and the front head profile almost vertical.
Size: Maximum total length 70 cm.

Adult Longfin Batfish, Platax teira, Tudung Periuk, Telinga Gajah

Subadult Longfin Batfish, Platax teira, Tudung Periuk, Telinga Gajah

Juvenile Longfin Batfish, Platax teira, Tudung Periuk, Telinga Gajah

Scientific Name: Proteracanthus sarissophorus (Cantor, 1849)
English Name: Knightfish, Harpoon Spadefish
Mandarin Name: 神棘白鲳 (Shén jí bái chāng), 舯舡 (Zhōng chuán)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Kuku, Gendang Batu, Perencang
Local Hokkien: Tongkang
Main Diagnostic Features: Body ovoid shape and mouth inferior. One of the spines greatly elongated, thickened, and irregularly swollen.
Size: Maximum total length 35 cm.