Western Striped Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus victoriae (Günther 1859)

Other Names: Black-axillary Soldier-fish, Northern Striped-cardinalish, Red-striped Cardinalfish, Victorian Cardinal Fish, Victorian Cardinalfish, Victoria's Cardinalfish

A Western Striped Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus victoriae, in Geographe Bay, Western Australia. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A reddish-brown cardinalfish with several narrower white stripes along the head and body, a large black spot on the pectoral-fin base, another black spot on the middle of the caudal-fin base, and pinkish fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Ostorhinchus victoriae in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Sep 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1611

Western Striped Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus victoriae (Günther 1859)

More Info


Endemic to Western Australia, from Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia, to the Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory. 
A nocturnal species, often seen sheltering in caves and under ledges on shallow reefs during the day.


Kuiter & Kozawa (2019) split this species into northern and southern forms: Ostorhinchus victoriae from north of Shark Bay, Western Australia, to the northern Territory, and Ostorhinchus aff. victoriae occurring between Geographe Bay and Shark Bay, Western Australia.


The species is named victoriae after the Victoria Settlement in the Northern Territory (= Port Essington), named for Queen Victoria. The settlement, established by the British Government in 1838 (Barrow 1839), was intended to facilitate trade with Asia, India and the Pacific. From 1838 until the disbanding of the settlement in 1849, Port Essington was officially known as 'Victoria'.

Species Citation

Apogon victoriae Günther 1859, Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum Vol. 1: 243. Type locality: Victoria [= Port Essington, Northern Territory, which was officially known as Victoria, or Victoria Settlement, from 1838]. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Western Striped Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus victoriae (Günther 1859)


Barrow, J. 1839. On the recent establishment at Port Essington, on the northern coast of Australia. Extract from a letter of Captain Sir J. Gordon Bremer. Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 9: 499–501. See ref online

Black, R., Robertson, A.I., Peterson, C.H. & Peterson, N.M. 1990. Fishes and benthos of near-shore seagrass and sandflat habitats at Monkey Mia Shark Bay, Western Australia. pp 245-261 in Berry, P.F., Bradshaw, S.D. & Wilson, B.R. (eds) 1990. Research in Shark Bay: Report of the France-Australe Bicentenary Expedition Committee. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

Coleman, N. 1980. Australian Sea Fishes South of 30ºS. Lane Cove, NSW : Doubleday Australia Pty Ltd 309 pp. 

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. See ref at BHL

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 & Monitoring Services.

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 

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

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

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. 

Kuiter, R.H. & Kozawa, T. 2019. Cardinalfishes of the world. New ed. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, and Okazaki, Aichi, Japan : Anthias, Nexus: 1-198. (as Ostorhinchus aff. victoriae)

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. 1881. Descriptive catalogue of the fishes of Australia. Part 1. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 5(3): 302-444 See ref at BHL 

Randall, J.E. & Hoese, D.F. 1988. Apogon limenus, a new species of cardinalfish (Perciformes: Apogonidae) from New South Wales. Records of the Australian Museum 40: 359-364 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.40.1988.162, open access

Spillett, P.G. 1972. Forsaken settlement : an illustrated history of the settlement of Victoria, Port Essington, North Australia, 1838-1849. Dee Why West, N.S.W. : Lansdowne, 196 pp.

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:37327079

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:2-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8 cm TL


Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map