Banggai cardinalfish

Pterapogon kauderni




7 cm
Oceans and seas

Interesting facts

You can tell the males and females apart by the “swollen” mouths of incubating males, and then watch the “camouflaged” young through the spines of hatpin urchins in the breeding ponds.



It is a two-tone fish, black and white. Its body is laterally compressed. Three vertical black stripes run along its sides. Its fins are black in color and speckled with white dots.

Biology and ecology

They live in small, compact groups, at shallow depths, and always close to hatpin urchins or anemones, alongside coral reefs. The males incubate the female's eggs in their mouths, until they hatch. Incubation lasts about 21 days. The young then take shelter among the urchins' spines or the anemones' tentacles, where they will continue to grow. This relationship, combined with the color of their markings and their behavior, increases their chance of survival in the face of predators.