Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Phaeoptyx pigmentaria, Dusky Cardinalfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout round, yellowish
bases D2 & A: no dark stripe
bar (front straight) across entire tail base
enlarged teeth
lower gill rakers 11-12
body dots evenly spaced, 1 per scale

Phaeoptyx pigmentaria (Poey, 1860)

Dusky Cardinalfish

Body oblong, compressed; head large, snout short, rounded; eye large; moderately large oblique mouth that opens at the front; top jaw wide, partly concealed when mouth is closed, scaleless; teeth small, some enlarged teeth at front of top jaws and sides of lower jaws, usually present on center and sides of roof of mouth; preopercle edge serrated; membraneous ventral preopercular flap extends beyond rear edge of preopercle; 11-12 (rarely 13) lower gill 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.

Pinkish to bronze; snout with yellowish cast; a dark bar under eye; head and body covered with even-sized, evenly spaced, dark speckles, one per scale; sometimes spots on cheeks and operculum are distinctly larger than those on body; a dark bar across entire tail base, its front edge usually straight; no dark stripes (but sometimes 1-2 rows of dark dots) along bases of dorsal and anal fins.

Reaches 8 cm.

Lives on reefs.

Depth range: 0-55 m.

Bermuda to Brazil; the E Atlantic.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • 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
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
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
  • 8
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 55