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/Fishwatcher's Guide Series

Indonesian Cardinalfishes, Family Apogonidae

Bob Fenner

Pterapogon kauderni

Genus Apogon:

Apogon aureus (Lacepede 1802), the Ring-Tail Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea, east Africa to New Caledonia. To nearly five inches in length. One off of Gili Air, Lombok, and a pair in N. Sulawesi. 

Apogon bandanensis Bleeker 1854, the Bigeye Cardinalfish. West-Pacific in distribution (this one in Fiji). To four inches in length. 

Apogon compressus (Smith & Radcliffe 1913), the Ochre-Striped Cardinalfish. Western Pacific; Malaysia to Micronesia down to the GBR. To nearly five inches in length. Often found as here, amongst branches of Porites (cylindrica and nigrescens principally). Pulau Redang, Malaysia and N. Sulawesi pix.

Apogon cookii (formerly robustus) Maccleay 1881, Cook's Cardinalfish. Indo-West Pacific including the Red Sea where the first image was made at night, the other an aquarium shot.
Apogon cyanosoma Bleeker 1853, the Yellow-Striped Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific including the Red Sea. To three inches in length. One off Australia's Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, and a group in shallow water in Fiji.

Apogon fraenatus Valenciennes 1832, the Bridled Cardinalfish. To four inches in length. Indo-Pacific; from Durban, South Africa to Tuamotus. Images from Fiji at night. 

Apogon hartzfeldii Hatzfeld's Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific; Malaysia, PNG, GBR. To four inches in length. Mabul, Sabah, Malaysia and N. Sulawesi (Lembeh Strait) pix. 

Apogon kallopterus Bleeker 1856, the Iridescent Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific, including the Red Sea (where this one was photographed at night while foraging). To six inches in length. A larger specimen out during the day in the Maldives also shown.

Apogon leptacanthus Bleeker 1856-57, Threadfin Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific including the Red Sea. To a little over two inches in length. Found in dense school in the wild. This group in a friends aquarium.

Apogon nigrofasciatus Lachner 1953, the Blackstriped Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea to the Tuamotus. This one in Fiji at night. 

Apogon sealei (Fowler 1918), Seale's Cardinalfish. Western Pacific; Malaysia to Micronesia. To three inches in length. One in Redang, Malaysia and a pair in N. Sulawesi. 

Genus Cheilodipterus:

Cheilodipterus alleni Gon 1993, Southwestern Pacific; New Guinea, Indonesia. To four inches for males, about 2.5" for females. This one in the area of Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia. 

Cheilodipterus isostigmus (Schultz 1940), the Dog-Toothed Cardinalfish. West-central Pacific. To nearly four inches in length. This three inch one in Fiji.

Cheilodipterus macrodon (Lacepede 1802), the Largetoothed Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific; East Africa to the Marshall Islands. To nearly ten inches in length. A six inch specimen in Manado/Sulawesi/Indonesia,and a male of about the same size in the Red Sea "with a mouthful" of young.

Genus Pseudamia

Pseudamia amblyuroptera (Bleeker 1856). Indo-West Pacific. To six inches in length. Not a great beauty, but one of the more common Cardinalfishes of this genus offered in the hobby.

Genus Pterapogon

Pterapogon kauderni Koumans 1933, the Banggai Cardinalfish. Restricted in distribution to Banggai Island, Indonesia, though commercially produced in good numbers in Indonesia and elsewhere. To three inches in length. A darling of the ornamental aquatics industry and hobby. Readily reproduced in captivity. Young cluster about the spines of the Urchin Diadema setosum when threatened as pictured.

Genus Sphaeremia: Pajamafishes.

Sphaeramia nematoptera (Bleeker 1856), the Pajama Cardinalfish. West Pacific. To three inches in length. A long-standing favorite in the aquarium trade. Second perhaps only to the Banggai in use.

Sphaeramia orbicularis (Cuvier 1828), the Orbiculate Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific. To four inches in length. An uglier version of the Pajamafish, but hardy just the same.

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