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Species: Astrapogon puncticulatus, Blackfin Cardinalfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body deep, snout short, profile over eye convex
pelvics reach to/past center A base
rear edges D2 & A, & C tips: clear/whitish
gill rakers 2+12-14
pectoral 16

Astrapogon puncticulatus (Poey, 1867)

Blackfin Cardinalfish

Body oblong, compressed, relatively deep head large, snout short, head profile rounded above eye; rear nostril vertically elongated; eye large; moderately large oblique mouth that opens at the front; top jaw wide, partly concealed when mouth is closed, scaleless; teeth small, usually present on center and sides of roof of mouth; preopercle edge smooth; 2+12-13 (rarely 14) gill rakers; dorsal fin VI +I, 9; anal fin II, 8; pectoral fin rays 16 (rarely 15 or 17); inner pelvic ray mostly not attached to body; pelvics large, reaching to or past middle of anal fin; tail fin bluntly straight to slightly convex; lateral line complete; 23-45 pored lateral line scales; lateral line complete, extends onto base of tail fin; body scales smooth; no row of scales on nape centerline before dorsal fin.

Head and body bronze with dark lines and blotches radiating back from eye; pelvics dark grey to black; body and remaining fins heavily stippled with black dots; front and tip of 1st dorsal blackish; rear edges of 2nd dorsal and anal fins & tips of caudal fin clear to whitish.

Reaches 10 cm.

Found in seagrass beds, often in dead (but not in live) conchs.

Depth range: 1-57 m.

Bermuda to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • 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
  • 10
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 57