Pearlycheek Cardinalfish, Apogonichthyoides opercularis (Macleay 1878)

Other Names: Pearly-cheeked Cardinal-fish

A Pearlycheek Cardinalfish, Apogonichthyoides opercularis, from Darwin, Northern Territory, depth 0-1.5 m, November 1982. Source: John E. Randall / FishBase. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A greyish cardinalfish with pearly sheen, a blackish tip on the first-dorsal fin, a faint darker marking on the caudal-fin base, and a small dark spot on the gill cover behind the middle of the eye. The Pearlycheek Cardinalfish lacks brownish bars on the body and has no small spot above the pectoral-fin axil.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Apogonichthyoides opercularis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Nov 2019,

Pearlycheek Cardinalfish, Apogonichthyoides opercularis (Macleay 1878)

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Endemic to northern Australia from the Kingfisher Islands, Western Australia, to Yirrkala, Northern Territory. Inhabits shallow inshore reefs, including tidepools.

Species Citation

Apogon opercularis Macleay 1878, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. 1 2(4): 347, pl. 7 (fig. 1). Type locality: Port Darwin, NT; AM I.16309-002, Port Darwin, NT.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Pearlycheek Cardinalfish, Apogonichthyoides opercularis (Macleay 1878)


Fraser, T.H. & Allen, G.R. 2010. Cardinalfish of the genus Apogonichthyoides Smith, 1949 (Apogonidae) with a description of a new species from the West-Pacific region. Zootaxa 2348: 40-56.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds) The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp. 

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.

Macleay, W.J. 1878. The fishes of Port Darwin. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 2(4): 344-367 pls 7-10

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327070

Biology:Mouth brooders (males)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:7 cm SL


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