Bright Red Cardinalfish, Apogonichthyoides miniatus Fraser 2010

The cardinalfish Apogonichthyoides miniatus - collected in 95 m, NNE of Cartier Island, Timor Sea, Australia, June 2007

Freshly caught holotype of the Bright Red Cardinalfish, Apogonichthyoides miniatus, from NNE of Cartier Island, Timor Sea, AUS EEZ, depth 95 m, June 2007. Source: Dianne J. Bray / Museums Victoria. License: CC BY Attribution


A small deepwater cardinalfish with a red head, body and fins, a round non-ocellate black spot above the pectoral fin followed by three faint dark marks along the midline and a black blotch on the first dorsal fin. The species has a low gill raker count (14-15), high pectoral fin-ray count (16), and a rounded tail.

Apogonichthyoides miniatus is only known from 27 specimens collected from NNE of Cartier Island in the Timor Sea off northwestern Australia, Australian EEZ.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Apogonichthyoides miniatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024,

Bright Red Cardinalfish, Apogonichthyoides miniatus Fraser 2010

More Info


Known only from continental shelf waters of the Timor Sea NNE of Cartier Island, off northwestern Western Australia, depth 95 m.
This species was collected in a beam trawl with coral, sponges, urchins, and abundant red algae (which may have provided shelter).


Dorsal fin IX spines as VIII-I, 9 or  VII(I)-I, 9; Anal fin II, 8: Pectoral fin 16; Pelvic fin I, 5; Principal caudal-fin rays 1+8-7+1; Gill rakers 14(14-15); Vertebrae 10+14; Branchiostegal rays 7. In the dorsal-fin spine formula, the spine inside parentheses refers to a spine hidden below the skin.

A small species of Apogonichthyoides with 9 visible dorsal-fin rays, a reddish head and body in life with a dark spot on the body above the pectoral fin, 16 pectoral-fin rays, 7-8 well-developed gill rakers on first arch, 2-3 rows of palatine teeth and a rounded caudal fin (Fraser 2010).


To 36.5 mm SL, 47 mm TL.


Head, body and fins reddish, with a broad pale band under the eye, and a round non-ocellate black spot behind the gill cover above the pectoral fin, followed by three evenly-spaced faint dark marks along the midline; first dorsal fin with black membranes between the 3rd and 6th spines; pelvic-fin rays reddish with blackish tips; anal fin pale near base, reddish distally; caudal fin with a pale area near base followed by a wide reddish band and a pale margin.



The sexes are separate and fertilisation is external. Males brood the developing eggs in their mouths. One female (32.2 SL) contained eggs ~0.4 mm diameter. One mouth-brooding male, 34.4 SL, had eggs ~0.7 mm diameter in its mouth.


Of no interest to fisheries.



Apogonichthyoides miniatus is only known from 27 specimens collected from a depth of 95 metres in the Timor Sea near Cartier Island. The same collection contained abundant red algae that may have provided habitat cover for this species and several other small red fish species.

Similar Species

Differs from all other known species of Apogonichthyoides in having the following combination of characters: small size; reddish head, body and fins; rounded non-ocellate black spot on the body above the pectoral fin followed by three faint midline darkish marks; low gill raker counts (14-15); high pectoral fin-ray counts (16); rounded caudal fin.


The specific name is from the Latin miniatus (= bright red, cinnabar-red) in reference to the reddish coloration of the head, body and fins.

Species Citation

Apogonichthyoides miniatus Fraser 2010, aqua, Internat. J. Ichthyol. 16(3): 94, Figs. 1-4. Type locality: 10.5 km north-northeast of Cartier Island, Timor Sea, 12°26'42"S to 123°36'03"E to 12°26'58"S, 123°36'35"E, depth 95 m.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Bright Red Cardinalfish, Apogonichthyoides miniatus Fraser 2010


Fraser, T.H. 2010. A new deepwater species of the genus Apogonichthyoides (Apogonidae) from the Timor Sea, north-western Australia. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 16(3): 93-100.

Fraser, T.H. & Allen, G.R. 2011. A new cardinalfish of the genus Apogonichthyoides (Perciformes, Apogonidae) from Raja Ampat Islands, with a key to species. Zootaxa 3095: 63-68.

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

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:37327168


Biology:Mouth brooders (males)

Depth:95 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:36.5 mm SL, 47 mm TL

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