Striped Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus fasciatus (White 1790)

Other Names: Barred Striped Cardinalfish, Bar-striped Cardinalfish, Broad-banded Cardinalfish, Broad-banded Cardinal-fish, Four-banded Soldier-fish

A Bar-striped Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus fasciatus, at Clifton Gardens, Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A whitish to dusky pink cardinalfish with a broad dark midlateral stripe sometimes bounded by narrow pale silvery-white stripes extending to the end of the tail, a second dark narrower stripe running from the snout above the eye to the upper caudal peduncle, and often an incomplete dusky stripe above the midlateral stripe.
In many publications, this species was called Apogon fasciatus.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Ostorhinchus fasciatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Sep 2023,

Striped Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus fasciatus (White 1790)

More Info


Shark Bay, Western Australia, to Sydney, New South Wales. Elsewere this species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west Pacific, from Africa and the Gulf of Oman, to Japan and New Caledonia. The species has also migrated into the eastern Mediterranean via the Suez Canal.
Inhabits sandy or weedy areas on coastal reefs, usually sheltering beneath ledges or amongst corals during the day. Juveniles often shelter amongst sea-urchin spines.


Feeds on zooplankton at night.

Species Citation

Mullus fasciatus White 1790, Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales: 268, fig. 1. Type locality: Port Jackson, New South Wales.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Striped Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus fasciatus (White 1790)


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

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

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. (as Apogon fasciatus)

Blaber, S.J.M., Brewer, D.T. & Harris, A.N. 1994. Distribution, biomass and community structure of demersal fishes of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45(3): 375-396.

Fishelson, L., Goren, M. & Gon, O. 1997. Black gut phenomenon in cardinal fishes (Apogonidae, Teleostei). Marine Ecology Progress Series 161: 295-298.

Fraser, T.H. 2005. A review of the species in the Apogon fasciatus group with a description of a new species of Cardinalfish from the Indo-West Pacific (Perciformes: Apogonidae). Zootaxa 924: 1-30. (as Apogon fasciatus)

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp. (as Apogon quadrifasciatus)

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. (as Apogon fasciatus)

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

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762  (as Apogon fasciatus)

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) (as Apogon fasciatus)

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. (as Apogon fasciatus)

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. (as Apogon quadrifasciatus)

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. (as Apogon fasciatus)

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.

Ramm, D.C., Pender, P.J., Willing, R.S. & Buckworth, R.C. 1990. Large-scale spatial patterns of abundance within the assemblage of fish caught by prawn trawlers in Northern Australian waters. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 41(1): 79-95 (as Apogon quadrifasciatus)

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. (as Apogon fasciatus)

Russell, B.C. & Houston, W. 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. The Beagle 6(1): 69-84.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. (as Apogon fasciatus)

White, J. 1790. Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales with sixty-five plates of non-descript animals, birds, lizards, serpents, curious cones of trees and other natural productions. London : Debrett 299 pp. 65 pls.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327158

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:2-128 m

Habitat:Reef associated, sandy/weedy areas

Max Size:10+ cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map