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Species: Apogon townsendi, Belted Cardinalfish

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long black bar under end D2
end tail base: broad dark bar with black edges
both jaws: bands of simple teeth, no canines
lower gill rakers 17
lower gill rakers 17
A 8
scales: LL not enlarged,
center nape: 3-8, around tail base 12

Apogon townsendi (Breder, 1927)

Belted 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; 17 (rarely 16 or 18) lower gill rakers; dorsal fin VI + I, 9; anal fin II, 8; inner pelvic ray mostly not attached to body; pectoral 12; tail fin forked; body scales rough; 3-8 scales on center of nape before dorsal fin; lateral line scales not enlarged; scales around tail base 12; lateral line complete, extends onto base of tail fin.

Head and body pink, belly orangish; a thin black bar from end of base of dorsal fin to end of base of anal fin; 2 thin blackish bars (front one more prominent) at rear of tail base, area between those often dusky, even black.

Reaches 8.5 cm.

Lives on reefs; often with the sea urchin Diadema.

Depth: 3-55 m.

Bermuda to the S Caribbean.

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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
  • 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)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 8.5
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 55