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Related FAQs: Cardinals 1, Cardinals 2, & FAQs on: Cardinal ID, Cardinal Behavior, Cardinal Compatibility, Cardinal Selection, Cardinal Systems, Cardinal Feeding, Cardinal Disease, Cardinal Reproduction,   Banggai Cardinals, Banggai ID, Banggai Behavior, Banggai Compatibility, Banggai Selection, Banggai Systems, Banggai Feeding, Banggai Disease, Banggai Reproduction,

Related Articles:  Cardinalfishes of Indonesia,

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

Cardinalfishes, Family Apogonidae, Pt. 2

Part 1,

By Bob Fenner

Pterapogon kauderni

Genus Archamia: Formerly several, now only one valid species per Fishbase.org

Archamia (now Taeniamia) fucata
Archamia (now Taeniamia) biguttata
Archamia (now Taeniamia) zosterophora

Genus Cheilodipterus:

Cheilodipterus alleni Gon 1993, Southwestern Pacific; New Guinea, Indonesia. To four inches for males, about 2.5" for females. This one in Fiji.

Cheilodipterus artus Smith 1961. The Wolf Cardinalfish. To seven inches in length. Indo-Pacific; East Africa to GBR, Japan. Feeds on small fishes. Raja Ampat pic.

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

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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.

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Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus Cuvier 1828, the Fivelined Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific including the Red Sea. To five inches in length. Here is pictured an adult and young near a Sea Urchin in the Gulf of Aqaba, Red Sea.

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Genus Nectamia:

Nectamia bandanensis (Bleeker 1854). The Big-Eye Cardinal. Indo-West Pacific. To four inches in length. Aq. pic. http://fishbase.org/summary/Species Summary.php?id=5763

Genus Ostorhinchus: Plus see the genus Apogon for species that have been moved to this genus. 89 valid species according to Fishbase.org.

Ostorhinchus angustatus (Smith and Radcliffe 1911), the Black- or Broad striped Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. to three inches. A reclusive species that prefers caves and overhangs. Mauritius 2016.
Ostorhinchus apogonoides (Bleeker 1857). Golden bodied w/ two blue lines through the head running horizontally. To 10 cm. Lives in associations of a few dozen individuals, rising off the reef during the day. Zooplanktivore. Western Pacific, I.O. and Red Sea. Here in Mauritius in 2016.
Ostorhinchus aureus (Lacepede 1802),  the Ring-Tail Cardinalfish. Black bar encircles caudal peduncle. 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. 

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Ostorhinchus cavitensis (Jordan & Seale 1907), The White-Lined Cardinalfish. To 6.5 cm. West Central Pacific; below in Raja Ampat.
Ostorhinchus 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). Wakatobi, S. Sulawesi pic.

Ostorhinchus cookii (formerly robustus) Maccleay 1881, Cook's Cardinalfish. Indo-West Pacific including the Red Sea at night.
Ostorhinchus 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.

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Ostorhinchus doederleini Jordan & Snyder 1901, Doederlein's or Four-Stripe Cardinalfish. Western Pacific in shallow waters. To five inches in length. This two incher in Australia.

Ostorhinchus hartzfeldii (Bleeker 1852), Hatzfeld's Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific; Malaysia, PNG, GBR. To four inches in length. N. Sulawesi (Lembeh Strait) pic. 

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
Ostorhinchus hoevenii (Bleeker 1854). Frostfin Cardinalfish. Indo-West Pacific. (Lembeh Strait) pix. To 6 cm.. Typically associated with Diadema urchins. KBR at night  http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=8588&genusname=Apogon&speciesname=hoevenii

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Ostorhinchus maculiferus (Garrett 1864), Spotted Cardinalfish. To 14 cm. Eastern Central Pacific; Hawaiian endemic. Big Island pic. 

Apogon margaritophorus Bleeker 1854, the Red-Striped Cardinal. To. 6.5 cm. Western Central Pacific: Indo-Malay Archipelago to Solomon Islands. Aq. Pic.

Ostorhinchus nanus (Allen, Kuiter & Randall 1994). W. Central Pacific. Here in S. Leyte, P.I. 2013 amongst Diadema setosum spines.

Ostorhinchus neotes Allen, Kuiter, Randall 1994. Mini Cardinalfish. To 2.7 cm. Western Central Pacific: Maumere Bay (Indonesia), Palau and Madang, Papua New Guinea. Aq. Pic.

Ostorhinchus nigrofasciatus (Lachner 1953), the Blackstriped Cardinalfish. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea to the Tuamotus. This adult one in Fiji; juveniles below. 

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Ostorhinchus novemfasciatus  
Ostorhinchus parvulus (H. M. Smith & Radcliffe, 1912). Bali 2014
Ostorhinchus 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. 

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Genus Pristiapogon:

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

Pristiapogon 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.

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Pristiapogon menesemus (Jenkins 1903), Bandfin Cardinalfish. May be same species (A. taeniopterus) as found elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific (according to fishbase.org). Distinguished by bar on caudal according to Randall. Big Island pic of a male.

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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 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 large/symbiotic anemones tentacles or the spines of the Urchin Diadema setosum when threatened.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available
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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.

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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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Genus Taeniamia:

Taeniamia fucata (Cantor 1849). Orange-lined Cardinalfish. Bali 2014.
Taeniamia biguttata . (Lachner 1951) Twinspot Cardinalfish. Bali 2014.
Taeniamia zosterophora (Bleeker 1856) Blackbelted or Girdled Cardinalfish. West Pacific. To 3 in. Here in Raja Ampat.

Genus Zoramia: Six valid species according to Fishbase.org

Zoramia leptacantha (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.

Geographical Range

Tropical marine, Atlantic, Indian and Pacific reefs; some estuarine and freshwater members (Papua New Guinea, see Allen).

Size: 

Most to a few inches, some species to six-eight inches or more in the wild.

Selection:

Cardinals display little middle-ground in their quality on-arrival; they are either hardy and sure to "make it", or thrashed and "doomed" to break down and die. For reference, they share many of the same selection criteria as damselfishes.

1) Behaviorally; look closely at the group on display. They should be clustered somewhat, with none having "private parties" off in the corners of the system. Are they aware of your presence? Good.

2) Reddening: Examine the bodies of each specimen carefully, especially the insertions of unpaired fins. Do you see evidence of infection on any individual? If so, pass them by.

Collecting Your Own

Gathering cardinals compared to other marines is a breeze. Apogonids are easily spooked out of hiding into a carefully placed hand net. Care must be taken in not snagging their dorsal fins' spines (6-8 in the first dorsal fin, one with 8-14 soft rays in second) and anal fin (two) spines.

Environmental: Conditions

Habitat

Cardinals hide in the netherworld of ledges and corals by day; searching the bottom for food, by night.

Chemical/Physical 

Apogonids are about as tolerant as damselfishes; they are not demanding. Some temperate species prefer lower temperatures, but 72-78 degrees F. is fine for the group as a whole. Elevated temperatures may bring on a feeding strike and odd behavior. Higher, steady specific gravity is appreciated, closer to 1.025; maybe due to their close association with invertebrates?

Cardinals will tolerate a few tens of ppm of nitrate, but little or no ammonia, nitrite.

Biology/Other 

I'd like to mention that Apogonids are an under-rated portion of the living reef's populations. Several of the hundreds of species are of large number in the wild, just not commonly encountered due to their largely nocturnal habits. Many form close associations with invertebrates, living within the spiny shelter of urchins, sea stars and more.

Filtration

I'd shy on making it brisk. These fishes are found in areas where the water really whips at times.

Display

For a really outstanding arrangement, provide a large dark shelter-space with one opening and a group of these fishes and others they are found with in the wild. The under ledge and cover sub-habitat is a rich biotope in the reef world.

Behavior:

Territoriality

Generally not. In the wild most live in aggregations as young and adults. In captivity they only fare well in groups.

Introduction/Acclimation 

Best put in established systems, keeping some low illumination on but subdued for a couple of days.

Predator/Prey Relations

Most Cardinalfishes as individuals get along with their own kind, other species of Apogonids and other peaceful tankmates. Large predatory fishes will inhale them like so much aqua-popcorn if they're small enough.

The smaller species (some get to six inches) are strongly promoted for use in fish-only and reef-tank set-ups. They are supreme choices, being hardy and interesting; their only shortcomings being that they're shy and reclusive. Apogonids as a rule do not "sample" more than mouth-size invertebrates.

Reproduction, Sexual Differentiation/Growing Your Own:

Several species spawning habits are known. The sexes are not much differentiated but may be distinguished by the males slightly larger size and the girth of gravid females. They are some of the few marine mouthbrooders with the males generally doing the incubating. Young are released after about a week, and develop as plankton for a couple of months in the upper water column.


Part 1,
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