Intermediate Cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus intermedius Gon 1993

An Intermediate Cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus intermedius, at Lembata Island, Indonesia, July 2018. Source: zsispeo / Flickr. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A cardinalfish with alternating pale and dark stripes along the head and body, a large pale area on the caudal peduncle and dark outer rays on the caudal fin. Juveniles and sub-adults have a large yellow patch on caudal peduncle surrounding a small central black spot.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Cheilodipterus intermedius in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Aug 2022,

Intermediate Cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus intermedius Gon 1993

More Info


Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, west Pacific.
Inhabits sheltered inshore sandy, rubble and muddy reefs, deeper lagoons and caves.

Similar Species

The Intermediate Cardinalfish lacks a yellow snout, and differs from the Wolf Cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus artus, in having darker stripes and fewer gill rakers, and from the Tiger Cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus macrodon, in having narrower dark stripes.


The specific name is from the Latin intermedius (= intermediate,) in reference to the “close relationship” of this species with Cheilodipterus alleni, C. artus and C. macrodon.

Species Citation

Cheilodipterus intermedius Gon 1993, Indo-Pacific Fishes 22: 19, Pl. 1 (fig. B); Figs. 3A, 8. Type locality: Fringing reef edge, east side of Marine lab, Sesoko-jima Island, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, Japan, depth 3 m. 


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Intermediate Cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus intermedius Gon 1993


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

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

Gon, O. 1993. Revision of the cardinalfish genus Cheilodipterus (Perciformes: Apogonidae), with description of five new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 22: 1-59 

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

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327138

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:1-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:20 cm SL

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