Threespine Cardinalfish, Verilus anomalus (Ogilby 1896)

Other Names: Flathead Feed, Three-spined Cardinalfish, Three-spined Cardinal-fish

Threespine Cardinalfish, Apogonops anomalus. Source: Ken Graham / NSW Fisheries. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A slender "perch-like" fish with an olive-brown back, silvery-white below, black tips on the first dorsal and caudal fins, and a pair of large canine teeth at the front of the upper jaw. 

The Threespine Cardinalfish was previously called Apogonops anomalus. Yamanoue (2016) determined that the genera Apogonops and Neoscombrops are synonyms of the genus Verilus.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Verilus anomalus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Dec 2022,

Threespine Cardinalfish, Verilus anomalus (Ogilby 1896)

More Info


Widespread in continental shelf and slope waters of southern Australia, from southern Queensland to northwest of Shark Bay, Western Australia, including around Tasmania. Threespine Cardinalfish form large pelagic schools in deep estuaries to 600 m on the continental slope. 


Dorsal fin X + 10; Anal fin III, 6-7; Vertebrae 25.
Adults have a pair of spines on the upper part of the operculum. 


Threespine Cardinalfish are an important food source for large predatory fishes.

Species Citation

Apogonops anomalus Ogilby 1896, Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. 21(1): 24. Type locality: Maroubra Bay, New South Wales.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Threespine Cardinalfish, Verilus anomalus (Ogilby 1896)


Blaber, S.J.M. & Bulman, C.M. 1987. Diets of fishes of the upper continental slope of eastern Tasmania: content, calorific values, dietary overlap and trophic relationships. Marine Biology 95: 345-356.

Bulman, C.M. & Blaber, S.J.M. 1986. Feeding ecology of Macruronus novaezelandiae (Hector) (Teleostei: Merlucciidae) in south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 37: 621-639.

Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Acropomatidae, p. 533, in Gomon, M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp. (as Apogonops anomalus)

Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds) 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs. (as Apogonops anomalus)

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs. (as Apogonops anomalus)

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp. (as Apogonops anomalus)

Neira, F.J., Miskiewicz, A.G. & Trnski, T. 1998. Larvae of temperate Australian fishes: laboratory guide for larval fish identification. Nedlands, Western Australia : University of Western Australia press 474 pp.

Ogilby, J.D. 1896. On a new genus and species of fishes from Maroubra Bay. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 21(1): 23-25. (as Apogonops anomalus)

Pollard, J. (ed.) 1980. G.P. Whitley's Handbook of Australian Fishes. North Sydney : Jack Pollard Publishing Pty Ltd 629 pp. (as Apogonops anomalus)

Yamanoue, Y. 2016. Revision of the genus Verilus (Perciformes: Acropomatidae) with a description of a new species. Journal of Fish Biology doi:10.1111/jfb.13124Abstract

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37311053

Depth:40-600 m


Max Size:15 cm SL


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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map