Sydney Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus limenus (Randall & Hoese 1988)

Other Names: Four-banded Soldierfish

A Sydney Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus limenus, at North West Solitary Island, New South Wales. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution


A greyish cardinalfish with pink fins, and five dark stripes along the body. The upper two narrow curved stripes are widely separated from the broad midlateral stripe that terminates in a large dark spot on the tail base.

Video of Sydney Cardinalfish at Little Manly, Sydney, New South Wales.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Ostorhinchus limenus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

Sydney Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus limenus (Randall & Hoese 1988)

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Endemic to temperate waters of Australia, from about Fraser Island, Queensland, to eastern Victoria - possibly to Wilsons Promontory. Inhabits rocky reefs along the coast and in bays, harbours and estuaries, in depths of 1-30 m.


Maximum length 14 cm.


The specific name limenus is from the Greek limen, meaning 'harbour' or 'refuge' in reference to the type locality and inshore habitat of this species.

Species Citation

Apogon limenus Randall & Hoese, 1988, Rec. Aust. Mus. 40: 361, figs 1-2. Type locality: Bottle and Glass Rocks, Sydney Harbour, NSW [33°52´S, 151°16´E].


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Sydney Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus limenus (Randall & Hoese 1988)


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.

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

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

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

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. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. 469 pp.

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327066

Biology:Mouth brooder (male)

Depth:1-30 metres

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:14 cm


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CAAB distribution map