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Species: Apogon phenax, Mimic cardinalfish

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2 widely separate bars - triangular under D2, wide on tail base
bases D & A: red lines

Apogon phenax Bohlke & Randall, 1968

Mimic 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; 11-14 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; 12-16 scales around tail base; lateral line complete, extends onto base of tail fin.

Head and body reddish; 2 dark bars: a triangular bar under rear of dorsal fin and front of tail base, a broad straight bar across end of tail base, those separated by a distance > width of the 2nd bar; often  a dark red line along base of dorsal and anal fins; 1st dorsal often with white streaks on membranes between spines.

Reaches 8.1 cm.

Lives on reefs.

Depth: 3-50 m.

The Bahamas to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Water column
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Brooded
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • GC endemic
  • Insular primarily
  • All species..
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • 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
  • 8.1
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 50