Southern Cardinalfish, Vincentia conspersa (Klunzinger 1872)

Other Names: Orange Cardinalfish, Southern Gobbleguts

A Southern Cardinalfish, Vincentia conspersa, in Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, Williamstown, Port Phillip, Victoria, May 2016. Source: Julian K. Finn / Museum Victoria. License: CC by Attribution

A pinkish to reddish to dusky-brown cardinalfish, with irregular spots and speckles, and a darker diagonal line on the cheek below the eye. Male cardinalfish brood the developing eggs in their mouths.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Vincentia conspersa in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Jan 2019,

Southern Cardinalfish, Vincentia conspersa (Klunzinger 1872)

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Endemic to temperate waters of southern Australia from Wilsons Promontory (Victoria) to the middle of the Great Australian Bight (South Australia) and around Tasmania. Inhabits very shallow to deeper offshore reefs in 3-65 m. Nocturnal, hiding in caves and under ledges during the day.


Meristic counts: Dorsal fin VII-VIII; I, 9; Anal fin II, 9; Pectoral fin 15; Pelvic fin I, 5; Caudal fin rays: 17; Lateral line scales 23-24; Gill rakers 1 + 6-7.
Body oval, compressed, with a blunt head, a long tail base and two large short-based dorsal fins set close together, large pelvic fins, and the body covered in large rough scales. 


To a maximum length of 15 cm.


Colour varies from pinkish to reddish to dusky-brown, with irregular spots and speckles, and a darker diagonal line on cheek from below eye. 


Carnivores, feeding on zooplankton and benthic invertebrates.


The sexes are separate and fertilization is external. Males brood the developing eggs in their large mouths, and do not feed during this time.


IUCN Red List: not evaluated.

EPBC Act 1999: Not listed


Dianne J. Bray

Southern Cardinalfish, Vincentia conspersa (Klunzinger 1872)


Allen, G.R., Cross, N.J. & Hoese, D.F. 2006. Family Apogonidae. pp. 1081-1112 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp.

Allen, G.R.& Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Apogonidae. pp. 557-561 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Edgar, G.J., Last, P.R. & Wells, M.W. 1982. Coastal Fishes of Tasmania and Bass Strait. Hobart : Cat & Fiddle Press 175 pp. [72] (as Apogon conspersus)

Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Apogonidae. pp. 562-571 figs 499-506 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs [569]

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. [54]

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. [155]

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers pp. I-xvii + 1-434 [148]

Thresher, R.E. 1984. Reproduction in reef fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Ltd., Neptune City, New Jersey. 399 p.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327033

Biology:Males - mouth brooders

Depth:3-65 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:15 cm


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