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Species: Phaeoptyx conklini, Freckled Cardinalfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout blunt, not yellow
bases D2 & A: wide, strong dark stripe
bar (front irregular) across entire tail base
15 lower gill rakers
each scale: multiple dots, evenly spaced

Phaeoptyx conklini (Silvester, 1915)

Freckled Cardinalfish

Body oblong, compressed; head large, snout short, blunt; eye large; moderately large oblique mouth that opens at the front; top jaw wide, partly concealed when mouth is closed, scaleless; teeth small, no canines, usually present on center and sides of roof of mouth; preopercle edge serrated; membraneous ventral preopercular flap extends beyond rear edge of preopercle; 20-22 gill rakers, 15 (rarely 14 or 16) lower rakers; dorsal fin VI +I, 9; anal fin II, 8; pectoral fin rays 11-12 (rarely 13); inner pelvic ray connected to body along most or all of its length; tail usually concave; body scales rough; a row of scales on centerline before dorsal fin; 23-45 pored lateral line scales; lateral line complete, extends onto base of tail fin.

Pink to bronze; snout not yellowish; a dark oblique bar down from eye; head with many dark spots; rear edges of scales on body with usually 2-3 uniformly spaced dark dots, forming crescent shaped marks; a dark bar on tail base, usually spans entire width of tail base, with front edge usually irregular; broad dark stripes along bases of dorsal and anal fins, usually with a pale stripe between that and base of fin; dark upper and lower edges of tail.

Reaches 9 cm.

Seagrass and rubble bottoms, in empty shells.

Depth range: 0-35 m.

Bermuda to Suriname.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Water column
  • 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
  • Pelagic fish eggs
Egg Type
  • Brooded
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • 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
  • 9
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 35