Family: APOGONIDAE, Cardinalfishes
Cardinalfishes are small (< 15 cm); body oblong, laterally compressed; large eyes; a moderately large oblique mouth that opens at the front; top jaw wide, partly concealed when mouth is closed, scaleless, no extra bone above rear jaw bone; preopercle with serrated rear edge and a smooth ridge in front of margin; opercle without spines; two separate dorsal fins, VI + I, 9; anal fin II, 8-9; scales large, rough to smooth, 23-25 with lateral line tubes; lateral line complete, extends to base of tail fin.
Apogonidae is one of the largest tropical reef fish families. Cardinalfishes are represented in all tropical and warm temperate seas, but the majority are distributed in the Indo-Pacific region. Worldwide there are an estimated 310 species in 24 genera; 23 shallow-water species in 3 genera occur in the Greater Caribbean.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER GON (2002)