Western Gobbleguts, Ostorhinchus rueppellii (Günther 1859)

Other Names: Gobbleguts, Northern Gobbleguts, Ruppell's Cardinalfish

A Western Gobbleguts, Ostorhinchus rueppellii, from Channel Island, Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, November 2016. Source: Dave Wilson / Aquagreen. License: All rights reserved

A pale brownish to greyish cardinalfish with a series of small black spots along the lateral line, a diagonal dusky bar from the eye across the cheek, often a small dark spot on the body at the rear of  the anal and both dorsal fins, a row of spots along the bases of the anal and soft dorsal fins, and yellowish pelvic fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Ostorhinchus rueppellii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Sep 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1604

Western Gobbleguts, Ostorhinchus rueppellii (Günther 1859)

More Info


Know from Albany, south Western Australia, to the Prince of Wales Island, Torres Strait, Queensland, and southern Papua New Guinea.
Inhabits estuaries, inshore reefs and weedy areas, often aggregating in large numbers. Individuals usually move offshore during winter months, and return to shallower waters during spring.


Dorsal fin VIII, 9-10; Anal fin II, 9-10; Vertebrae 24.


Feeds on crustaceans, polychaete worms and small fishes.

Species Citation

Apogon rueppellii Günther 1859,Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum Vol. 1: 236. Type locality: Australian seas.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Western Gobbleguts, Ostorhinchus rueppellii (Günther 1859)


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

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 Apogon rueppelli)

Blaber, S.J.M., Young, J.W. & Dunning, M.C. 1985. Community structure and zoogeographic affinities of the coastal fishes of the Dampier region of north-western Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 36: 247-266. (as Apogon rueppelli)

Chrystal, P.J., Potter, I.C., Loneragan, N.R. & Holt, C.P. 1985. Age structure, growth rates, movement patterns and feeding in an estuarine population of the cardinalfish Apogon rueppellii. Marine Biology 85: 185–197 https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00397437

Günther, A. 1859. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the acanthopterygian fishes in the collection of the British Museum. Gasterosteidae, Berycidae, Percidae, Aphredoderidae, Pristipomatidae, Mullidae, Sparidae. London : British Museum Vol. 1 524 pp. 

Heithaus, M.R. 2004. Fish communities of subtropical seagrass meadows and associated habitats in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Bulletin of Marine Science 75(1): 79-99. (as Apogon rueppelli)

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth :  Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.

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

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6 (as Apogon rueppelli)

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs. (as Apogon rueppelli)

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. (as Apogon rueppelli)

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 

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

Neira, F.J., 1991. Larval development of the oral brooding cardinalfish Apogon rueppellii (Teleostei: Apogonidae) in Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 15(3): 573-584.

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.

Neira, F.J., Potter, I.C. & Bradley, J.S. 1992. Seasonal and spatial changes in the larval fish fauna within a large temperate Australian estuary. Marine Biology 112(1): 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00349721

Travers, M.J. & Potter, I.C. 2002. Factors influencing the characteristics of fish assemblages in a large subtropical marine embayment. Journal of Fish Biology 61(3): 764-784.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327040

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:0-10 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:12 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map