Flying Fox Fish: A Rare And Fascinating Fish

flying fox fish

Last updated on August 7th, 2022 at 10:31 pm

The flying fox fish, or flying fish as it is also called, is a rare and fascinating creature found in freshwater rivers and streams throughout Asia. This flying fish glides through the water with its large fins that are used for swimming. These creatures typically live in warm waters near coral reefs. They only use their fins to glide on top of the water surface because they can’t swim under water like other types of fish do.

They can reach lengths of up to 1 meter (3 feet) long, with the largest flying fox on record measuring over 1.8 meters (6 feet). The flying fox’s body coloration ranges from dark brown to black with pale spots on its back, while it has a yellowish belly that becomes lighter towards the throat area.

Origin and description

flying fox fish

The flying fox fish is a rare fish that is found in the eastern Pacific Ocean. They have a long, eel-like body and it is brownish-black in color. They have distinctive flattened heads with small eyes. They are believed to be a benthic predator, meaning that they hunt for prey on the ocean floor. They have been observed feeding on small fish and crustaceans, and they are thought to be fairly skilled hunters.

The flying fox fish is also known to form schools during the day, and it has been observed swimming along the seafloor and using its dorsal fin to slide across the sand. This is an interesting behavior, as this fish normally moves by undulating its body in a side-to-side motion similar to eels and moray eels.

They were first described by David Starr Jordan and Charles Henry Gilbert in 1884. It is one of the rarest and poorly understood fish in the world, and there is still much to learn about this fascinating creature.

What is flying fox fish?

The flying fox fish is a long, eel-like fish that is brownish-black in color. It has a distinctive flattened head with small eyes, and it can reach up to two feet in length. This fish is quite elusive, and little is known about its behavior or ecology.

They have been observed feeding on small fish and crustaceans, and they are thought to be fairly skilled at hunting.

Species profile

flying fox fish

The Flying Fox, a rare and fascinating fish found only in the waters of Southeast Asia. This predatory fish is named for its fox-like appearance, with a long, slender body and protruding eyes. It can grow up to two feet in length and has a dark brown or black coloration.

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The Flying Fox is an active predator that hunts at night, using its large mouth and sharp teeth to swallow prey quickly. It prefers the deep waters of the Malaysian islands but can be found throughout Southeast Asia in Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Thailand.

They are rare fish that has captured public interest for many years because they are so different from other fish found in the area. Its long, slender body and protruding eyes are unique among Southeast Asian fish, and their dark brown or black coloration makes them easy to identify. They are an active predator that hunts at night, making them fascinating creature to watch.

Scientific name

The scientific name of the flying fox fish is Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus

Range and habitat

Found only in the waters of Southeast Asia, flying fox fish prefer to live deep underwater. They are native primarily to Malaysia but can also be found throughout Borneo, Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi as well as parts of Thailand.

Their preferred habitat is freshwater rivers or streams with heavy currents; however, they have been known to venture into estuaries and even the open sea. They are an entirely freshwater species that have evolved for life in fast-flowing waters, so they cannot survive when their habitat slows down or stops moving completely.

Their range includes northern Australia and New Guinea – specifically the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland to East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea, as well as the islands of New Caledonia and Vanuatu. They are so named because their dorsal, pectoral, and anal fins all have a well-developed actinotrichia or “hair” that resembles the wings of flying foxes (fruit bats).

Flying Fox Fish can grow to be up to six inches in length. Males tend to be smaller than females and have a longer dorsal fin, as well as a more pointed nose. The largest of these fish can also boast beautiful colors ranging from dark reds and purples to black with bright yellow spots on their fins.

Flying fox fish size

flying fox fish

The flying fox is one of the larger members of the carp family, reaching up to 24 inches in length.

Tank size

Flying fox fish are best kept in a tank of at least 30 gallons with plenty of covers, hiding places, and swimming space.

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Life cycle

The flying fox fish has a unique life cycle that is worth taking a closer look at. After they hatch from their eggs, the baby flying foxes will live in the open ocean for a number of years before eventually settling down in a coral reef. They will grow and mature there until it’s time to start the process all over again.

Interestingly, the flying fox fish is one of the only species of fish that can change its sex. If there are not enough males in a coral reef to mate with the females, some of the females will turn into males in order to keep the population going. This amazing ability helps ensure that this beautiful fish will continue to thrive for generations to come.

The flying fox fish is a truly amazing creature, and it’s well worth taking the time to learn more about it. With its unique life cycle and ability to change sex, this fish is sure to capture your attention.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

The flying fox fish is a peaceful creature that generally doesn’t bother anyone. However, there have been cases where they have become aggressive towards other fish in their coral reef home. If you are planning on adding a flying fox fish to your aquarium, it’s important to make sure that its tank mates are compatible and won’t cause any problems.

Flying fox fish care

flying fox fish

When it comes to taking care of a flying fox fish, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, these fish require plenty of space. Make sure you have a large aquarium for them to live in, as they will get stressed if they don’t have enough room to swim around.

In addition, the water temperature should be kept on the cooler side, around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s too warm, they may become stressed and have a shortened lifespan. Feeding flying fox fish is no problem at all, they are omnivorous so you can feed them both plant matter as well as meaty items.

Flying fox fish diet

The flying fox fish, as you can tell from its name, feeds on both plants and meat. This makes it fairly easy to feed pet fish. It is recommended that the majority of your food comes in the form of plant matter such as algae wafers or pellets formulated for omnivores.

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In addition, they will also eat meaty items such as earthworms, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Feed your flying fox fish a few times a day and make sure that there is always food in the water so they can graze throughout the day.

Tank mates for flying fox fish

Since the flying fox fish is a peaceful and timid fish, it can be housed with most other types of community fish. However, avoid housing them with overly aggressive or territorial fish as they may harass or even kill your fish. Some good tank mates for this species include guppies, tetras, platys, corydoras catfish, and similar species.

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that you should never house different fish types together unless they are of the same species or at least closely related. This is because some fish have very specific dietary needs, for example, a flying fox may eat all your tetras if there is no other food available.

Water conditions

The water conditions for the flying fox are very important. They need a moderate amount of salt in their water, around 0.02 teaspoons per gallon. The temperature should be kept between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and they prefer slightly acidic to neutral pH levels around seven or eight on the scale.

These fish can handle some variation in these conditions, but it’s best to try and keep them as close to the ideal as possible. This will help ensure that your fish stays healthy and happy in its home aquarium.


flying fox fish

Breeding flying fox fish is not difficult to do. All you need are two adult fishes of opposite sexes.

You can tell which sex a particular individual is by looking at the dorsal fin. Males have a more pointed dorsal, while females’ fins are rounder and smaller. To get your flying fox fish to breed, simply introduce two adults into the same aquarium and keep them there for about six weeks or so.

After this time period has passed, you should start seeing fry emerge from the parents’ territory! They are relatively easy to care for, feed them baby brine shrimp or powdered fry food mixed with water. You can also feed them algae wafers as this will help their scales grow strong and healthy.

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The average lifespan of a flying fox fish is around five years. This can vary depending on the water conditions and care they receive, but five years is a good estimate.

With proper care, your flying fox fish can live a long and healthy life in your aquarium!

Parasites and diseases

Like all fish, flying foxes are susceptible to parasites and diseases. It’s important to keep an eye on your fish for any signs of illness and treat them as soon as possible.

Some common parasites and diseases that can affect flying foxes include ichthyophthirius (ICH), Costia necatrix (CNT), and Saprolegnia fungus (SAP).

These diseases can all be prevented by keeping the water in your aquarium clean and making sure that there is no ammonia or nitrite present. ICH and CNT are also completely curable with a store-bought medication, but SAP is not, so make sure you treat it as soon as you notice any sign of diseases.


The only predators that flying foxes have in the wild are larger fish and birds. In an aquarium, however, you need to be on the lookout for any small fish or invertebrates that may try to eat your little guy!

Some of the potential predators include guppies, tetras, platys, corydora catfish, and similar species. Make sure to keep your fish in a tank with only other closely related fish types if you want them to live happily ever after!

Do they make good pets?

Yes. Flying foxes make excellent pets and are relatively easy to care for. They are peaceful fish that will not bother other tank mates, making them perfect for any aquarium.


If you’re looking for a unique and fascinating fish to add to your aquarium, the flying fox is a perfect choice. With their bright colors and interesting behavior, these fish are sure to get attention from all who see them.

Make sure to provide your flying fox with the correct water conditions and care, and they will be a happy addition to your tank for years to come!