Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Apogon quadrisquamatus, Sawcheek Cardinalfish

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dusky bronze, fins yellowish
oblique dark triangle under eye
tail base: oval blotch
bands of simple teeth, no canines

Apogon quadrisquamatus Longley, 1934

Sawcheek 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 strongly serrated at angle, lower membranous flap not extending beyond edge of preoperculum; 13 (12-14) (rarely 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; lateral line complete, extends onto base of tail fin.

Head and body red, salmon or bronze; body finely speckled in black; a vertically elongate oval black spot at end of tail base that usually does not extend to the top and bottom of the tail base; often a triangular oblique dark bar down from eye; fins yellowish.

Reaches 7.8 cm.

Lives with anemones, sea urchins (Diadema) and sponges, on reefs, seagrass beds and rubble bottoms.

Depth: 1-107 m.

Georgia to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Sea anemones
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sponges
  • Submerged vegetation
  • 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 non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • 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
  • 7.8
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 107