Jebb's Siphonfish, Siphamia jebbi Allen 1993

Jebb's Siphonfish, Siphamia jebbi, in Cenderawasih Bay, West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Gerald R. Allen. License: All rights reserved

A pale translucent siphonfish, sometimes silver anteriorly, with small dark dots overlain with orange dots and dashes peppering the head and body, orange fish spines, a silvery light organ with dark vertical or slanted striations, orange dots sometimes on the upper part of the eye, and iridescent blue dots encircling the pupil.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Siphamia jebbi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2024,

Jebb's Siphonfish, Siphamia jebbi Allen 1993

More Info


Offshore reefs of north Western Australia, and the northern Great Barrier reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical west-central Pacific: Malaysia east to Micronesia, Fiji and Tonga, north to Philippines.
Inhabits sheltered waters of lagoons and bays, on silt, sand or rubble areas with coral coverage varying from isolated knolls and patch reefs to fringing reef at depths between 0–29 m. Individuals have At Madang the second author observed it usually in groups of about 20–40 individuals and it was often sighted in close proximity to Siphamia corallicola among beds of the pocilloporid coral Seriatopora hystrix.


Dorsal fin VII+I,9; Anal fin II,8; Pectoral fin 12-14, unbranched and compressed distally; Tubed lateral-line scales 0–8; Median predorsal scales 4–5; Total gill rakers 3–5 + 8–11 = 12–15, developed gill rakers 2 + 8–10, gill rakers on ceratobranchial 7–8. 
Body ovate, its depth 2.2–2.4 in SL, and body width 1.9–2.7 in the depth; eye diameter 2.7–3.0 in head length; first dorsal spine 2.0–6.3 in second spine; second dorsal spine 4.1–5.9, spine of second dorsal fin 3.2–4.2, and second anal spine 4.2–4.8, all in head length; pectoral-fin length 4.1–5.3 and pelvic-fin length 3.8–4.8 in SL; caudal-peduncle length 1.2–2.0 in distance between pelvic spine insertion and anal-fin origin. Preopercular ridge smooth, the edge usually fully serrate (16–29 serrations). Vomer and palatines with single series to narrow band of small teeth, that of the former in v-shape. Scales large, thin and deciduous, usually cycloid under and around pectoral fin, and spinoid on at least posterior half of body; lateral-line scales with vertical series of papillae. Light organ relatively short, ending on caudal peduncle at 1–2 scales beyond base of last anal-fin ray; tip of light organ on each side of tongue bound by membrane.


Body translucent white peppered with small dark dots mostly anteriorly on upper part of body, below and in front of first dorsal fin; body and head with dense orange dots and markings of variable size that form irregular horizontal lines on lower part of body (Fig. 20c); fin spines orange and fin rays orange proximally; fin membrane pale; upper part of orbit sometimes with orange dots and pupil encircle by iridescent blue dots; interorbital space and nape with variable amount of dark brown pigment.

Species Citation

Siphamia jebbi Allen 1993, Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 20(1): 14. (fig. 7 is misidentified = S. cyanophthalma). Type locality: Padoz Reef, off entrance to Nagada harbor, near Madang, Papua New Guinea.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Jebb's Siphonfish, Siphamia jebbi Allen 1993


Allen, G.R. 1993. Cardinalfishes (Apogonidae) of Madang Province, Papua New Guinea, with descriptions of three new species. Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 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. & Erdmann, M.V. 2019. Siphamia arnazae, a new species of cardinalfish (Teleostei: Apogonidae) from Papua New Guinea. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 33: 1-8

Gon, O. & Allen, G.R. 2012. Revision of the Indo-Pacific cardinalfish genus Siphamia (Perciformes: Apogonidae). Zootaxa 3294: 1-84

Gon, O., G. R. Allen, G.R., Erdmann, M.V. & Gouws, G. 2014. A new species of the cardinalfish genus Siphamia (Perciformes, Apogonidae) from West Papua, Indonesia. Zootaxa 3881(4): 328-340.

Kuiter, R.H. & Kozawa, T. 2019. Cardinalfishes of the world. New Edition. Seaford, Victoria: Aquatic Photographics, and Okazaki, Aichi: Anthias (Nexus), 198 pp.

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:37327174

Biology:Bioluminescent; mouth brooder (males)

Depth:0-29 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:2.2 cm SL

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