Kupang Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus wassinki (Bleeker 1860)

A Kupang Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus wassinki, at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A yellowish-orange cardinalfish with about 6 narrow pale greyish to silver stripes along head and body, the lowermost extending along lower side to above the anal-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Ostorhinchus wassinki in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Jul 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1628

Kupang Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus wassinki (Bleeker 1860)

More Info


Ningaloo Reef to Cassini Island off The Kimberley, Western Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in the West Pacific: Philippines and eastern Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea.
During the day, pairs or small groups usually shelter in caves or among branching corals on sheltered coastal coral and rocky reefs, often in silty areas.


Dorsal fin VII + I, 9; Pectoral fin 13-14; Gill rakers 3-4 + 13–15.


Feeds at night on zooplankton and benthic invertebrates.


Cardinalfishes form distinct breeding pairs and males brood the eggs in their mouths. 


The species is named in honour of Geerlof Wassink, chief of the Dutch East Indies medical service during Bleeker's time.

Species Citation

Apogon wassinki Bleeker, 1861, Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 22: 257. Type locality: Kupang, Timor Island, southern Malay Archipelago.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Kupang Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus wassinki (Bleeker 1860)


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

Bleeker, P. 1860. Zesde bijdrage tot de kennis der vischfauna van Timor. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 22: 247-261. See ref at BHL

Gon, O. 2010. Apogon wassinki. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T155274A4763324. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T155274A4763324.en. Downloaded on 31 May 2021.

Mabuchi, K., Fraser, T.H., Song, H., Azuma, Y. & Nishida, M. Revision of the systematics of the cardinalfishes (Percomorpha: Apogonidae) based on molecular analyses and comparative reevaluation of morphological characters. Zootaxa 3846(2): 151–203. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3846.2.1

Moore, G.I., Morrison, S.M. & Johnson, J.W. 2020. The distribution of shallow marine fishes of the Kimberley, Western Australia, based on a long-term dataset and multiple methods. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 85: 105–115  https://doi.org/10.18195/issn.0313-122x.85.2020.105-115

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. & Kulbicki, M. 1998. Two new cardinalfishes (Perciformes: Apogonidae) of the Apogon cyanosoma complex from the western Pacific, with notes on the status of A. wassinki Bleeker. Revue française d'Aquariologie Herpétologie 25(1-2): 31-39.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327154

Biology:Mouth brooders (males)

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-22 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:6 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map