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. 2022, Cercamia eremia in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Dec 2022,

Glassy Cardinalfish, Cercamia eremia (Allen 1987)

More Info


Houtman Abrolhos to Exmouth Guls and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore and Cartier Islands in the Timor Sea, the Northern Territory, and the northern Great Barrier Reef to One Tree Island, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species in confirmed from the Western Indian Ocean (Fraser et al. 2021).
A solitary nocturnal species found deep inside caves and crevices, and beneath ledges during the day on clear coral reefs..


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 solitary behaiour 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. 2022


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

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.

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. 

Fraser, T.H., Bogorodsky, S.V., Mal, A.O. & Alpermann, T.J. 2021. Review of the cardinalfishes of the genus Cercamia (Percomorpha: Apogonidae) of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean with descriptions of three new species. Zootaxa 5039(3): 363-394.

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 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 See ref online  

Hui, T.H., Maruse, T., Fujita, Y., Kiat, T.S. 2014. Observations on the fauna from submarine and associated anchialine caves in Christmas Island, Indian Ocean Territory, Australia. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 30: 406-418. See ref online

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

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map