Redspot Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus dispar (Fraser & Randall 1976)

Other Names: Whitespot Cardinalfish

A Redspot Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus dispar, in the Raja Ampat islands, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2016. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A semi-transparent pinkish cardinalfish with a narrow reddish midlateral stripe from the tip of the snout to a large red spot on the caudal peduncle, a prominent white spot immediately above the caudal peduncle spot, two red spots behind and above the eye, and broad red tips on the caudal-fin lobes.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Ostorhinchus dispar in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Apr 2024,

Redspot Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus dispar (Fraser & Randall 1976)

More Info


Recorded in the Australian EEZ from the territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewehre the species occurs in the east-Indo-west Pacific - Cocos-Keeling Islands and Indonesia east to Palau and Fiji, north to Yaeyama Islands, south to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Inhabits steep outer reef slopes - usually in caves on drop-offs, or amongst black corals and dense gorgonian corals growing from drop-off walls.


Dorsal fin VII + I, 8-9; Anal fin II, 8-9; Pectoral fin 13-14; Caudal fin (principal rays) 9+8; Vertebrae 10+14; Gill rakers (well-developed) 21-25 (4-5 + 17-20); Lateral line scales 25; Transverse scale rows above lateral line 2; Predorsal scales 4–5.
Body depth 3.1-3.6 in SL.


The specific name is from the Latin dispar (= unlike, different) in reference to the the unusual body shape and coloration of this species.

Species Citation

Apogon dispar Fraser & Randall 1976, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 88(47): 5504, fig. 1. Type locality: cave at base of southwestern end of Augulpelu Reef, Palau Island, Caroline Islands. 


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Redspot Cardinalfish, Ostorhinchus dispar (Fraser & Randall 1976)


Allen, G.R. 1993. Cardinalfishes (Apogonidae) of Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, with descriptions of three new species. Rev. Fr. Aquariol. 20(1): 9-20.

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

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

Fraser, T.H. 2012. A new species of deeper dwelling West Pacific cardinalfish (Percomorpha: Apogonidae) with a redescription of Ostorhinchus atrogasterZootaxa 3492: 77-84.

Fraser, T.H. & Randall, J.E. 1976. Two new Indo-West Pacific cardinalfishes of the genus ApogonProceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 88(47): 503-508. See ref at BHL

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. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 See ref online

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

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

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Indonesian Reef Fishes. Part 1. Eels- Snappers, Muraenidae - Lutjanidae.Australia : Zoonetics pp. 1-302.

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:37327181

Biology:Mouth brooder (males)

Depth:15-58 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:5 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map