Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Apogon maculatus, Flamefish, Flamefish Cardinalfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

red; eye: dark + 2 white lines, dark spot behind
black spot under D2
tail base: indistinct broad dark bar

Apogon maculatus (Poey, 1860)

Flamefish, Flamefish 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; 14 (13-16) lower 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; scales around tail base 17-20; lateral line complete, extends onto base of tail fin.

Head and body orange-red; a black stripe from snout through eye (where it is bordered above and below by thin silver stripes) to rear of operculum, where it is most intense; a round black spot under rear of 2nd dorsal fin; an indistinct broad dark bar across rear of tail base; these 3 areas of dark color may fade and be barely distinguishable; rear edges of soft dorsal, anal and tail fins may be black.

Reaches 11.1 cm.

Lives on reefs.

Depth: 1-128 m.

The Gulf of Mexico and SE Florida to the S Caribbean.

Note: records further north on the US coast are waifs. Its Brazilian sister species is A. americanus.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sea anemones
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Water column
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • 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
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 11.1
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 128