Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Zapogon evermanni, Oddscale Cardinalfish

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black stripe: snout through eye to over pectoral base
end D base: black spot before white spot
stomach and intestine black
LL scales > body scales

Zapogon evermanni (Jordan & Snyder, 1904)

Oddscale Cardinalfish

Body oblong, compressed; head large, snout short; eye large; moderately large oblique mouth that opens at the front; top jaw wide, partly concealed when mouth is closed, scaleless; jaws with bands of small teeth, no canines; front and sides of roof of mouth with a band of small teeth; preopercle serrated, lower membranous flap not extending beyond edge of preoperculum; 4-6 + 15-17 gill rakers; dorsal fin VI + I, 9; anal fin II, 8; inner pelvic ray mostly not attached to body; pectoral 12; tail fin slightly concave; body scales rough, smaller than lateral line scales; 24 lateral line scales; 10-12 scales present on center of nape before dorsal fin; lateral line complete, extends onto base of tail fin.

Red; often 3 pale bars on body- between 2 dorsal fins, just behind 2nd dorsal fin and middle of tail base; a dark red-brown stripe from snout through eye and across operculum; a black spot with a white spot immediately behind it at end of base of 2nd dorsal fin; stomach and intestine black.

Reaches 15 cm.


Depth: 3-250 m.

Indo-central Pacific and W Atlantic; the Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

Note: The Greater Caribbean population was originally named Z. anisolepis, but subsequently synonymized with Z. evermanni based on morphological similarities. However, the GC population is genetically very distinct and most likely represents a separate species.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Water column
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 15
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 250