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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. 1

To: Part 2,

By Bob Fenner

Pterapogon kauderni

Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1:

Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
B
ook 2:
Fishes

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:
Systems

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner

It's a shame that Cardinalfishes are so often passed over as marine aquarium specimens. It's my guess that their odd-shapes, retiring conduct, and large, all-seeing eyes must lead aquarists to consider this group as being too 'touchy' for captive use. Admittedly, the success rate in keeping these fishes is dismal; but for explainable, correctable reasons.

Cardinalfishes occupy some of the same niches on the reef and in aquariums as the damsels (family Pomacentridae); biologically, they're principal forage fishes for piscivores; commercially they're plentiful, easily captured, and transport well; resulting in their being relatively inexpensive to acquire.

Securing decent specimens, maintaining them in a small school, and granting them a few provisions will reward you with hardy, interesting and long-term specimens.

Systematics:

Cardinalfishes, family Apogonidae ("Ap-oh-gahn-id-ee") are members of the largest Order of fishes, the Perciformes. They are one of the largest families of fishes with about 27 genera and 250 species. The Cardinals are further subdivided into two families (the deepwater Epigonidae) and sub-families depending on whose taxonomic scheme you favor. Hobbyists are generally offered a half dozen members of the largest genus Apogon and the Pajama (S. orbicularis) and Blackbelt Cardinals of the genus Sphaeramia.

Many Cardinalfishes are reddish in color (hence their common name) mixed with silver and white, though most species are yellow, silvery and black. All have large eyes, and are nocturnal; hiding in crevices or beneath ledges by day (typically with Squirrelfishes, Bigeyes and sweepers). These are mostly shallow water fishes, found from the surface to about 100 meters.

Species of Interest/Use to Aquarists:

Genus Apogon:

Apogon atrodorsatus Heller & Snodgrass 1903, the Blacktip Cardinalfish. To three and a half inches. Southeast Pacific; Cocos, Malpelo and Galapagos islands. Like most apogonids, hides near ledges, overhangs by day, feeds at night. Galapagos pic.


Apogon aureus (Lacepede 1802), Now, Ostorhinchus aureus the Ring-Tail Cardinalfish.

Apogon binotatus (Poey 1867), the Barred Cardinalfish. West-Central Atlantic; Florida to Venezuela. To four inches in length. Bonaire pic.

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

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Apogon cavitensis (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon compressus (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon cookii (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon cyanosoma (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon doederleini  (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon fraenatus (Now in the genus Pristiapogon)
Apogon hartzfeldii (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon hoevenii (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon leptacanthus (Now in the genus Zoramia)
Apogon maculatus (Poey 1860), Flamefish. Western Atlantic, Massachusetts to Brazil. To four or so inches in length. Here are images of the species in the Bahamas during the day and night. 2-60 feet. 

Apogon maculiferus  (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon margaritophorus (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon menesemus (Now in the genus Pristiapogon)
Apogon nanus (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon neotes (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus)
Apogon nigrofasciatus (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus) 
Apogon pacificus Herre 1935, the Pink Cardinalfish. Sea of Cortez to Peru. Rock and coral reefs. To 10 cm. in length. Costa Rica (Pacific side) 2011

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Apogon quadrisquamatus Longley 1934, Sawcheek Cardinalfish. Western Pacific; Florida to Venezuela. To 7 cm. in length. Bonaire pic at night.

Apogon robinsi Roughlip Cardinalfish. Dark reddish areas along rear dorsal, anal and upper and lower margins of caudal. Roatan 2017

Apogon sealei (Now in the genus Ostorhinchus) 
Apogon townsendi (Breder 1927), the Barred Cardinalfish. West-Central Atlantic; Florida to Venezuela. To 6.5 cm. in length. Sometimes rear bars are joined together. Bonaire night pic.

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
An unidentified Cardinalfish species in captivity in aquarium in Sacramento, CA.


Part 2,
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 1:

Invertebrates, Algae
New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
B
ook 2:
Fishes

New Print and eBook on Amazon: by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Small Marine Aquariums
Book 3:
Systems

New Print and eBook on Amazon:
by Robert (Bob) Fenner
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