Blackspot Cardinalfish, Taeniamia melasma (Lachner & Taylor 1960)

A Blackspot Cardinalfish, Taeniamia melasma, at Bohol, Philippines, May 2017. Source: zsispeo / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A pale pinkish-grey cardinalfish with a black band under the eye, a large black spot above the upper rear edge of the gill cover, and numerous narrow orange bars on the side. 

The Blackspot Cardinalfish was previously known in Australia as Archamia biguttata, a species that has not been confirmed from Australian waters. Fraser (2013) placed this species in the genus Taeniamia.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Taeniamia melasma in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2020,

Blackspot Cardinalfish, Taeniamia melasma (Lachner & Taylor 1960)

More Info


Dampier Archipelago, WA (20º33´S) to North Barnard Island, QLD (17º40´S), Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands, The species occurs elsewhere in southern New Guinea. Inhabits sheltered coastal reefs, often in silty areas. Forms small aggregations, usually among branching Acropora corals.


Dorsal fin VIII, 9; Anal fin II, 14-19; Pectoral fin 13-15; lateral line scales 25; Gill rakers (incl rudiments) 5-7 + 15-18.
Greatest body depth 2.3-2.9 in SL.

Similar Species

Differs from Taeniamia biguttata in lacking a spot on the caudal-fin base and in having a diffuse dark bar directly below the large spot above the gill cover.

Species Citation

Archamia melasma Lachner & Taylor, 1960, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 29, fig. 1. Type data: Yirrkala, NT. 


Dianne J. Bray

Blackspot Cardinalfish, Taeniamia melasma (Lachner & Taylor 1960)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. (as Archamia melasma)

Allen, G.R. 2009. Field Guide to Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-East Asia. Welshpool : Western Australian Museum Edn. 4, pp. 287.

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. (as Archamia melasma)

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. (as Archamia melasma)

Fraser, T.H. 2013. A new genus of cardinalfish (Apogonidae: Percomorpha), redescription of Archamia and resemblances and relationships with Kurtus (Kurtidae: Percomorpha). Zootaxa 3714(1): 1–63.

Gon, O. & Randall, J.E. 2003. Revision of the Indo-Pacific cardinalfish genus Archamia (Perciformes: Apogonidae), with description of a new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 35: 1-49. (regarded Archamia melasma as a junior synonym of A. biguttata)

Hutchins, B. 2004. Fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: 343–398.

Lachner, E.A. 1951. Studies of certain apogonid fishes from the Indo-Pacific, with descriptions of three new species. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 101(3290): 581-610 fig. 105 pls 17-19

Lachner, E.A. & Taylor, W.R. 1960. A new cardinal fish of the genus Archamia from northern Australia. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 73: 29-34 fig. 1

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.

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. (as Archamia biguttata)

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. (as Archamia melasma)

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. (as Archamia biguttata)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327084

Biology:Paternal mouth brooder

Depth:2-12 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8.6 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map