Glassy Cardinalfish, Cercamia eremia (Allen 1987)

A Glassy Cardinalfish, Cercamia eremia, at Anilao, Batangas Province, Philippines, ~35 mmSL. Source: Gerald R. Allen, Fig. 5, in Allen & Erdmann (2015) Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 14: 5765. License: CC by Attribution

A small semi-transparent cardinalfish with pale reddish-brown pigment on the snout and cheek, a silvery operculum, a silvery abdomen, transparent fins and deciduous scales.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Cercamia eremia in Fishes of Australia, accessed 07 Jul 2020,

Glassy Cardinalfish, Cercamia eremia (Allen 1987)

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia, and Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Timor Sea, to the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Red Sea, Indo-West Pacific from Christmas Island and Indonesia east to Tonga, Wallis and Futuna, north to southern Japan, south to Australia.A solitary nocturnal species found deep inside caves and crevices during the day.


Dorsal fin VI + I, 9-10;  Anal fin II, 12-13; Pectoral fin 10; Gill rakers on first arch 1 + 11-12 = 12-13 plus 1-2 low rudiments on upper limb; greatest body depth 4.0 (3.64.0), head length 2.7 (2.5-2.9), both in standard length.


The specific name eremius is from the Greek eremos (= solitary), in reference to its dwelling habit in contrast to Rhabdamia cypselurus and R. gracilis which occur in aggregations.

Species Citation

Rhabdamia eremia Allen 1987, Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 4, fig. 2. Type locality: South Muiron Island, Western Australia, depth 8 m.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Atlas of Living Australia

Glassy Cardinalfish, Cercamia eremia (Allen 1987)


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

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

Allen, G.R., Erdmann, M.V. & Mahardini, A. 2015 Cercamia melanogaster, a new species of cardinalfish (Apogonidae) from West Papua, Indonesia. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 14: 57-65., open access

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.) Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21 

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

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

Gon, O. & Randall, J.E. 2003. A review of the Cardinalfishes (Perciformes: Apogonidae) of the Red Sea. Smithiana, Publications in Aquatic Biodiversity, Bulletin 1: 1-47 

Hayashi, M. 1991. Redescription of Cercamia eremia, (Perciformes: Apogonidae) from Japan, with comments of the osteological characters. Science Reports of the Yokosuka City Museum 39: 35–44 

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

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 

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 

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. 

Randall, J.E. & Smith, C.L. 1988. Two new species and a new genus of cardinalfishes (Perciformes: Apogonidae) from Rapa, South Pacific Ocean. American Museum Novitates 2926: 1-9

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37327113

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:2-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:5 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map