Night Cardinalfish, Apogon doryssa (Jordan & Seale 1906)

Other Names: Flame Cardinalfish, Flathead Cardinalfish, Sabre-spined Cardinal-fish

A Night Cardinalfish, Apogon doryssa, at North Komodo Island, Indonesia, September 2016. Source: zsispeo / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A small semi-transparent cardinalfish, with a red head, red concentrated along the vertebral column, the upper and lower edges of the body, and with red scale margins. 

Cite this page as:
Apogon doryssa in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Nov 2022,

Night Cardinalfish, Apogon doryssa (Jordan & Seale 1906)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from the Whitsunday Islands, QLD, also in the Coral Sea and at Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Found elsewhere in the tropical, west-central Pacific.

Inhabits coastal and offshore reefs, and usually seen only at night.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 9; Anal fin II, 8; pectoral fin 11-12; Lateral line scales 24; Gill rakers 4-5 + 12-14. 
Second dorsal-fin spine thick and tall, almost reaching end of second dorsal-fin base, when folded down.

Species Citation

Amia doryssa Jordan & Seale, 1906, Bull. Bur. Fish. (U.S.) 1905 25: 245, fig. 39. Type locality: Apia, Upolu Island, Western Samoa. 

Night Cardinalfish, Apogon doryssa (Jordan & Seale 1906)


Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

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

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.

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)

Jordan, D.S. & Seale, A. 1906. The fishes of Samoa. Description of the species found in the Archipelago, with a provisional checklist of the fishes of Oceania. Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries (U.S.) for 1905 25: 173-455 figs 1-111 pls 33-53

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.

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. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327147


Biology:Paternal mouth brooder

Depth:1-20 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:5 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map