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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 | 鱼类中文名: 圆白鲳 (Yuán bái chāng)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Beluru, Daun Baharu, Peluru
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาคลุด (Plā khlud)
Local Hokkien: Pau Cheoh
Main Identification 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.
Habitat and Ecology: Rocky reefs, 10 to 30 m depth. Feed on benthic invertebrates and fishes.

Scientific Name: Platax teira  (Forsskål, 1775)
English Name: Longfin Batfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 牛屎鲳 (Niú shǐ chāng), 象耳朵 (Xiàng ěrduo)
Local Malay Name: Tudung Periuk, Telinga Gajah
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาหูช้างครีบยาว (Plā h̄ūcĥāng khrīb yāw)
Local Hokkien: Gu Sai Cheoh
Main Identification Features: Yellowish silvery or dusky colour, 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.
Habitat and Ecology: Reefs and mangroves, to 25 m depth. Commonly in small groups and occasionally forms large schools. Juveniles inhabit shallow protected inner reefs while adults occur in lagoon and seaward reefs to a depth of 20 m or more. Feed on algae, zooplankton, and benthic invertebrates.

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 | 鱼类中文名: 神棘白鲳 (Shén jí bái chāng), 舯舡 (Zhōng chuán)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Kuku, Gendang Batu, Perencang
Local Hokkien: Tongkang
Main Identification Features: Body ovoid shape and mouth inferior. One of the spines greatly elongated, thickened, and irregularly swollen.
Size: Maximum total length 35 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal waters and estuaries. Feed on seaweeds and invertebrates.