Estuary Cardinalfish, Pseudamia nigra Allen 1992

Estuary Cardinalfish, Pseudamia nigra. Source: Australian National Fish Collection, CSIRO. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A slender uniform dark-brown to blackish cardinalfish with a brown first dorsal fin and translucent pectoral fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Pseudamia nigra in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Apr 2024,

Estuary Cardinalfish, Pseudamia nigra Allen 1992

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Endemic to north Western Australia, from King George River gorge, The Kimberley, Western Australia, to Heales Creek, Cape York, Queensland.
Inhabits tidal mangrove creeks, and areas far upstream - including turbid estuarine waters. The holotype was collected from the base of a rock slide in a winding sandstone gorge, about 8 km inland from the river mouth and 500 m from an 80 m high waterfall, the base of which is the extreme limit of marine conditions. Although the water was saline, during summer the site would be exposed to considerable freshwater discharge, particularly at low tide (tidal amplitude is typically in the range of 6-8 m). 


Dorsal fin VI-I, 10; Anal fin I, 10; Pectoral fin 19-20, the uppermost and two lowermost rays unbranched; Caudal fin (principal rays) 17, the upper and lower rays unbranched; Procurrent caudal rays (upper and lower) 5; scales in longitudinal series ~43-50; Scales above lateral line to origin of dorsal fin 7; Scales below lateral line to origin of anal fin 17; Predorsal scales ~ 20 (embedded anteriorly and difficult to count); Circumpeduncular scales 29; Gill rakers 5-7 + 15-17.
Body relatively slender, greatest depth 3.7 (3.5-4.0) in SL (standard length).


The specific name nigra is from the Latin (black) in reference to the coloration of this species.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Estuary Cardinalfish, Pseudamia nigra Allen 1992


Allen, G.R. 1992. A new species of cardinalfish (Apogonidae) from northern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 15(4): 697-701 Ref online, Open access

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

Allen, G.R. 1999. Apogonidae. pp. 2602-2610 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

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 

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. 

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:37327109

Biology:Males - mouthbrooders

Depth:2-64 m

Habitat:Estuaries, mangroves

Max Size:6 cm TL


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