Silver Siphonfish, Siphamia argentea Lachner 1953

A Silver siphonfish, Siphamia argentea, in the Raja Ampat islands, West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Gerald R. Allen. License: All rights reserved


A small rare bioluminescent cardinalfish with a striated light organ along the lower surface, irregular patches of small dark dots mostly above and below the body midline, 7 first dorsal-fin spines, the second spine shorter than the third spine, and a complete lateral line with 23-24 tubed scales.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Siphamia argentea in Fishes of Australia, accessed 18 Sep 2021,

Silver Siphonfish, Siphamia argentea Lachner 1953

More Info


Off the Kimberley, Western Australia, and the Philippines, often taken in trawls; depth range 23-107 m. Specimens from Australian waters were collected with a beam trawl and a sled, towed on rocky substrates with rubble, gorgonians and sponges. Specimens from the Philippines were taken on bottoms varying from fine to coarse sand, mud, hard and soft corals and shells.


The silvery stripe along each side of the ventral surface consists of longitudinal bundles of transparent muscle whihc is associated with a light organ inside the abdominal cavity, above the pelvic girdle.

Species Citation

Siphamia argentea Lachner, 1953, in Schultz et al., Bull. U.S.N.Museum 202(1): 421, fig. 71. Type locality: Northern Balabac Strait, Philippines, 8°08'10"N, 117°19'15"E.


Bray, D.J. 2020

Silver Siphonfish, Siphamia argentea Lachner 1953


  • Allen, G.R. 1999. Families Ambassidae and Apogonidae. In: Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (Eds.) FAO species identification guide for fisheries purposes. The living marine resources of the western central Pacific. Volume 4. Bony fishes part 2 (Mugilidae to Carangidae). FAO, Rome.
  • Allen, G.R. & M.V. Erdmann. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research, Perth Australia.
  • Gon, O. & Allen, G.R. 2012. Revision of the Indo-Pacific cardinalfish genus Siphamia (Perciformes: Apogonidae). Zootaxa 3294: 1-84
  • Lachner, E.A. 1953. Family Apogonidae : cardinal fishes. pp. 412-498 figs 69-84 pls 33-43 in Schultz, L.P., Herald, E.S., Lachner, E.A., Welander, A.D. & Woods, L.P. (eds). Fishes of the Marshall and Marianas Islands. Vol. 1. Families Asymmetrontidae through Siganidae. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 202(1): 1-685, figs 1-90, pls 1-74

Quick Facts

Biology:Bioluminescent; mouth brooder (males)

Depth:23-107 m

Habitat:Sandy, muddy areas

Max Size:5 cm TL

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