Blue-eye Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus compressus (Smith & Radcliffe 1911)

Other Names: Blue-eyed Cardinalfish, Ochre-striped Cardinalfish, Split-banded Cardinalfish

A Blue-eye Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus compressus, at Moalboal, Alcantara, Central Visayas, Philippines. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A brown-striped cardinalfish with electric blue eyes, six reddish-brown stripes along the sides, and 3-4 'spots' on the tail base. The broad stripe on the upper side is divided behind the eye. Small juveniles have a black spot in the middle of a yellow caudal peduncle.
Blue-eye Cardinalfish are thought to mimic large-toothed species of the apogonid genus Cheilodipterus, allowing them to swim more freely.

Video of a Blue-eye Cardinalfish

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Ostorhinchus compressus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Apr 2021,

Blue-eye Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus compressus (Smith & Radcliffe 1911)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Scott Reef, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, and Rowley Shoals, WA, and from the Great Barrier Reef, QLD, and at Middleton & Elizabeth Reefs Reserve and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Found elsewhere in the West Pacific from the eastern Andaman Sea, south and east to Vanuatu and New Caledonia, and north to southern Japan. Inhabits coral-rich areas, often sheltering amongst branching corals during the day.

Species Citation

Amia compressa Smith & Radcliffe, 1911. Proc. U. S. Natl Mus. 41(1853): 246, pls 20, 21. Type locality: Philippine Islands. 


Dianne J. Bray

Blue-eye Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus compressus (Smith & Radcliffe 1911)


Allen, G.R. 1993. Cardinalfishes (Apogonidae) of Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, with descriptions of three new species. Revue française d'aquariologie 20(1): 9-20.

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.

Allen, G.R. & Fricke, R. 2010. Apogon compressus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 18 November 2014.

Choat, J.H., van Herwerden, L., Robbins, W.D., Hobbs, J.P. & Ayling, A.M. 2006. A report on the ecological surveys undertaken at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, February 2006. Report by James Cook University to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. 65 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical reef-fishes of the western Pacific Indonesia and adjacent waters. Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Jakarta, Indonesia.

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. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 1. Eels- Snappers, Muraenidae - Lutjanidae. Zoonetics, Australia.

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., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Russell, B.C., T.H. Fraser & H.K. Larson, 2010. Castelnau’s collection of Singapore fishes described by Pieter Bleeker. Raffles Bull. Zool. 58(1): 93-102.

Smith, H.M. & Radcliffe, L. in Radcliffe, L. 1911. Notes on some fishes of the genus Amia, family of Cheilodipteridae, with descriptions of four new species from the Philippine Islands. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 41(1853): 245-261 figs 1-3 pls 20-25

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327049

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-20 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:12 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map