Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Apogon leptocaulus, Slendertail cardinalfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

red; 3 bars: under D1 & D2, rear tail base
C rear edge dark
preopercular membrane flap extends to operculum
bands of simple teeth, no canines

Apogon leptocaulus Gilbert, 1972

Slendertail 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 extends beyond edge of preoperculum; 18-20 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; 3-8 scales on  center of nape before dorsal fin; lateral line scales not enlarged; lateral line complete, extends onto base of tail fin.

 Head and body red; 3 thick indistinct dark bars or saddles on body – 1 under each dorsal fin and one across the rear of the tail base; rear edge of tail fin dark.

 Reaches 6 cm.


 Depth: 18-158 m.

 The Bahamas to the SW Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Water column
  • Rocks
  • Corals
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 6
Depth Range Min
  • 18
Depth Range Max
  • 158