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15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Bilong Bilong Fish For Kids

Here are some bilong bilong fish facts that will keep you captivated.

 The bilong bilong fish belongs to the class of Actinopterygii fish. It is popularly called the moonfish, chabita, hiwas, tahas, or the mene fish. The moonfish lives at a depth of 164-656.2 ft (50-200 m) in the ocean and brackish waters of the Indo-west Pacific, east Africa, and Durban in South Africa. This species is solitary in nature. It is typically found swimming on its own. This fish may be found in small groups of five to seven during the breeding season. The moonfish body is covered in minute scales, but there are no scales on the head. Their mouth is small, almost vertical. Local Filipinos cook a very famous and delicious dish using this fish. This dish is called 'na bilong' and the method used to cook it is called 'paksiw' which is basically a deep-fried version of this fish that is simmered in garlic, salt, and vinegar until its crisp. This recipe is very traditional and is very famous among the local Filipino community.

Keep on reading to learn more interesting facts about this fish. For more relatable content, check out these toadfish facts and convict cichlid facts for kids.

Bilong Bilong Fish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bilong bilong fish?

The bilong bilong fish is a type of fish found at a depth of 656.2 ft (200 m) in the ocean.

What class of animal does a bilong bilong fish belong to?

The bilong bilong fish belongs to the class of Actinopterygii fish.

How many bilong bilong fish are there in the world?

There is no substantial data that is accurate enough to give us the exact number of bilong bilong fish that are present in the world today. However, this fish has been categorized as a Least Concern fish despite being very popular for its commercial value in the food and cooking industry in the Philippines.

Where does a bilong bilong fish live?

The moonfish lives at a depth of 164-656.2 ft (50-200 m) in the ocean and brackish waters of Indo-west Pacific, east Africa, and Durban in South Africa.

What is a bilong bilong fish's habitat?

The moonfish inhabits deeper coastal waters near the bottom on both the continental shelves and around major island groups of the Indo-west Pacific, east Africa, and Durban in South Africa. This species is endemic to the Atlantic Ocean. The moonfish lives at a depth of 164-656.2 ft (50-200 m) in its habitat. This fish can survive in moderate to cooler temperatures. The diet of this species primarily consists of squid, cuttlefish, krill, and fish smaller than its own size.

Who do bilong bilong fish live with?

This species is solitary in nature and it is typically found swimming on its own. This fish may be found in small groups of five to seven during the breeding season.

How long does a bilong bilong fish live?

The age estimate of the bilong bilong fish is 13-14 years depending on the region but this probably is not a solid figure. However, moonfish mature at a young age of four to five years.

How do they reproduce?

The spawning season of moonfish occurs seasonally. Moonfish mature at the young age of four or five years. The females release their eggs which the males fertilize outside of the body. The eggs hatch into larvae but do not resemble the adult fish at all. Juveniles are quite slender and quickly grow and morph into miniature versions of adults. However, there is a lack of sufficient scientific research that can give us more information about the reproduction cycle of this fish.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the bilong bilong fish is Least Concern despite being very popular for its commercial value in the food and cooking industry in the Philippines. Local Filipino communities cook a very famous and delicious dish called 'na bilong' using this fish.

Bilong Bilong Fish Fun Facts

What do bilong bilong fish look like?

The moonfish is thin and has an extremely deep body. It has a slender tail base and a forked tail. Its fins are slim, sickle pectoral shaped. The color of the upper sides of the body is deep metallic blue, the rest of the body is silvery with a row of round to ovoid and dark slaty-blue spots above and below the lateral line. It sometimes has a few additional spots above and below these rows and grows to about 12 in (30 cm). It inhabits the western Atlantic Ocean. Young moonfish are distinguished by long, threadlike rays that extend from their dorsal and pelvic fins.

The colors of this fish resemble the moon.

How cute are they?

This fish is not very cute to look at. Some people may find it cute because of its fins and fine color. However on the whole, this fish is pretty average to look at in comparison to other sea creatures in its family.

How do they communicate?

Similar to other ocean fish, this species too communicates by touch, smell, and also releasing vibrations into the water that other fish can pick up.

How big is a bilong bilong fish?

The bilong bilong fish is a mid-sized fish. It is 11.8 in (30 cm) in length. It is half the size of a ghost knife fish.

How fast can a bilong bilong fish swim?

The exact speed of the bilong bilong fish is not known at the moment but this fish is quite active during the day. Most species that belong to the same family like the Mola mola and the masturus are considered very fast as they are found in the tropical freshwater of the South American continent. 

How much does a bilong bilong fish weigh?

The bilong bilong fish weighs about 0.8 lb (0.4 kg). This fish is a mid-sized fish.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no such names given to the male and female species of the bilong bilong fish. People usually observe the eyes and the size of the fish to determine the sex of the fish.

What would you call a baby bilong bilong fish?

People often call a baby moonfish an alevin. This term, alevin, is used to refer to the newly hatched babies or juveniles.

What do they eat?

The diet of this species primarily consists of smaller fish, squid, cuttlefish, and krill.

Are they dangerous?

These fish is not very dangerous. They are mid-sized fish who are famous for their commercial value and local Filipino dish called na bilong.

Would they make a good pet?

This species would ideally not make a good pet as this fish is known for its commercial value and is popular in the food and cooking industry. Also, they live in deep waters and grow much too large to keep in a home aquarium or even a tank. This fish is popular for a very famous local Filipino dish called na bilong, a deep-fried version of this fish that is simmered in garlic, salt, and vinegar until it's crisp. This recipe is very traditional and is very famous among the local Filipino community.

Did you know...

The bilong bilong fish is a fully warm-blooded fish.

This species swims using its pectoral fins.

Do mene fish have scales?

Yes, the moonfish body is covered in minute scales, but there are no scales on the head. Their mouth is small, almost vertical.

What is the body shape of a moonfish?

This species is distinguished by its very deep and almost triangular-shaped body. This fish is thin, with a slender tail base, a forked tail, and slim, sickle-shaped pectoral fins which they use to swim swiftly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our lumpfish fun facts and jellyfish facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable fish mosaic coloring pages.

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