Scarlet Cardinalfish, Vincentia badia Allen 1987

A Scarlet Cardinalfish, Vincentia badia, at Second Valley, South Australia, February 2010. Source: David Muirhead / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A small reddish, to reddish-brown cardinalfish, with transparent areas on the outer parts of the second dorsal, caudal and anal fins, and sometimes faint spots on the second dorsal and caudal fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Vincentia badia in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Nov 2022,

Scarlet Cardinalfish, Vincentia badia Allen 1987

More Info


Endemic to southern Australia, from the SA Gulfs and Kangaroo Island, South Australia, to Port Denison, Western Australia. 

Nocturnal on rocky reefs, sheltering in caves and beneath ledges during the day at depths to 55 m.


Dorsal fin VII–VIII; I, 9;  Anal fin II, 9; Pectoral fin 15; Pelvic fin I, 5: Caudal fin 17; Lateral line scales 23–24.

Body deep, depth 41–44% SL; caudal peduncle of moderate length (24–25% SL); head length 33–38% SL; eye diameter 30–36% HL; scales ctenoid, those in and adjacent to lateral line of similar size; 6–7 scales below lateral line; dorsal fins of similar size, completely separate.


To almost 10 cm.


Overall reddish-brown, including fins, although pectorals somewhat lighter and translucent areas sometimes present on caudal membranes and on basal half of anal fin. Occasional specimens are primarily red.


Nocturnal carnivore - feeds on zooplankton and benthic invertebrates.


The sexes are separate and fertilization is external. Males incubate the developing eggs in their mouths.

Similar Species

Closely resembles the Southern Cardinalfish, Vincentia conspersa. The Scarlet Cardinalfish differs in having fewer lateral line scales (23-24 vs 25-26 in V. conspersa), and its smaller size (less than 7 cm SL, and usually less than 5.5 cm SL, compared with about 11.5 cm SL for V. conspersa).


The species name badia is from the Latin badius (red-brown), in reference to the body colour of this species.

Species Citation

Vincentia badia Allen, 1987, Mem. Mus. Vic. 48 (1): 6. Type locality: Western Australia, Port Peron, depth 1 m.


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Scarlet Cardinalfish, Vincentia badia Allen 1987


Allen, G.R. 1987. New Australian Fishes. Part 2. Four new species of Apogonidae. Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 3-8

Allen, G.R. & Gomon, M.F. 2008. Family Apogonidae. pp. 557-561 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.  

Gomon, M.F. 1994. Family Apogonidae. pp. 562-571 figs 499-506 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.  

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6  

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers pp. I-xvii + 1-434.  

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:37327120

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:1-55 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm TL


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