Apogonidae – Wikipedia

Family of fishes

Cardinalfishes are a family, Apogonidae, of ray-finned fishes found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans; they are chiefly marine, but some species are found in brackish water and a few (notably Glossamia) are found in fresh water. A handful of species are kept in the aquarium and are popular as small, peaceful, and colourful fish. The family includes about 370 species.

They are generally small fish, with most species being less than 10 cm (4 in), and are often brightly coloured. They are distinguished by their large mouths, and the division of the dorsal fin into two separate fins. Most species live in tropical or subtropical waters, where they inhabit coral reefs and lagoons.[1]

They are nocturnal, spending the day in dark crevices within the reef. At least some species brood their eggs inside the mouths of the males.[1] Males do not feed during this incubation period. Males incubate the eggs in their mouth due to having longer heads and a larger jaw, which females do not acquire.[2]


The fifth edition of Fishes of the World recognises only two subfamilies of the Apogonidae:[3]

  • Apogoninae
    • Amioides H.M. Smith & Radcliffe, 1912
    • Apogon Lacépède, 1801
    • Apogonichthyoides J.L.B. Smith, 1949
    • Apogonichthys Bleeker, 1854
    • Archamia T.N. Gill, 1863
    • Astrapogon Fowler, 1907
    • Cercamia J. E. Randall & C. L. Smith, 1988
    • Cheilodipterus Lacépède, 1801
    • Fibramia T. H. Fraser & Mabuchi, 2014 [4]
    • Foa D. S. Jordan & Evermann, 1905
    • Fowleria D. S. Jordan & Evermann, 1905
    • Glossamia T.N. Gill, 1863
    • Holapogon T. H. Fraser, 1973
    • Jaydia J. L. B. Smith, 1961
    • Lachneratus T. H. Fraser & Struhsaker, 1991
    • Lepidamia T. N. Gill, 1863
    • Neamia H. M. Smith & Radcliffe, 1912
    • Nectamia D. S. Jordan, 1917
    • Ostorhinchus Lacépède, 1802
    • Paroncheilus J. L. B. Smith, 1964
    • Phaeoptyx T. H. Fraser & C. R. Robins, 1970
    • Pristiapogon Klunzinger, 1870
    • Pristicon T. H. Fraser, 1972
    • Pterapogon Koumans, 1933
    • Rhabdamia M. C. W. Weber, 1909
    • Siphamia M. C. W. Weber, 1909
    • Sphaeramia Fowler & B. A. Bean, 1930
    • Taeniamia T. H. Fraser, 2013
    • Verulux T. H. Fraser, 1972
    • Vincentia Castelnau, 1872
    • Yarica Whitley 1930
    • Zapogon T. H. Fraser, 1972
    • Zoramia D. S. Jordan, 1917


Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Plio. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene Apogon Quaternary Neogene Paleogene Holocene Pleist. Plio. Miocene Oligocene Eocene Paleocene


  1. ^ a b Johnson, G.D.; Gill, A.C. (1998). Paxton, J.R.; Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 183. ISBN 0-12-547665-5.
  2. ^ Hoey, A., Bellwood, D., & Barnett, A. (2012). To feed or to breed: Morphological constraints of mouthbrooding in coral reef cardinalfishes. Proceedings: Biological Sciences, 279(1737), 2426-2432.
  3. ^ J. S. Nelson; T. C. Grande; M. V. H. Wilson (2016). Fishes of the World (5th ed.). Wiley. p. 752. ISBN 978-1-118-34233-6.
  4. ^ Mabuchi, K., Fraser, T.H., Song, H., Azuma, Y. & Nishida, M. (2014): Revision of the systematics of the cardinalfishes (Percomorpha: Apogonidae) based on molecular analyses and comparative reevaluation of morphological characters. Zootaxa, 3846 (2): 151–203.

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