- Photo. (c) 2022 BSS/MCSS.
Scientific Name: Apogon coccineus
English Name: Ruby cardinalfish
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (NE)
Dorsal spines: 7; Dorsal rays: 9; Anal spines: 2; Anal rays: 8.
Small, semi-transparent cardinal fish. Mouth subterminal. Anterior nostril closer to upper lip than to posterior nostril; skin flap forming dorsal edge of
first supraorbital pore ending laterally with a small notch reaching up to middle of base of anterior nostril tube. Preopercle ridge smooth; posterior
preopercle edge serrate, the angle and ventral part poorly ossified crenulate and membranous.
Colour. Semi-transparent, reddish-pink. Usually with dark-edged scales on predorsal area, between dorsal fins and lateral line, and on upper part
of caudal peduncle. A diffuse dusky stripe along middle of caudal peduncle, usually more distinct posteriorly. In juveniles the stripe is black, very
distinct and extends to tip of mid-caudal rays. The stripe becomes diffuse with growth, frequently receding to anterior part of mid-caudal rays
in larger fish. Usually has blackish dots at tips of rays of second dorsal, anal, caudal and, more rarely, pelvic fins. Peritoneum with small blackish
spots overlaid with scattered larger ones; intestine pale.
Maturity: Unknown. Max length : 6.0 cm TL.
Habitat and Ecology:
Occurs in sheltered reef flats, lagoon and seaward reefs (depth 8-25 m, usually 8-17 m). Nocturnal. Feeds on small benthic crustaceans at night. Hides
under rocks or in deep holes by day. Mouthbrooders. Distinct pairing during courtship and spawning.
This species is not protected or subject to regulations. It is not subject to the artisanal fishery.
Photo courtesy Eleanor Brighton and Chris Mason-Parker (c) 2022 Blue Safari Seychelles/Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles. Photograph taken at Alphonse group 2022.
Global population has yet to be evaluated by IUCN, but Persian Gulf RedList assessment classified the species as Least Concern (LC).
Very similar in appearance to A. crassipes which has also been recorded in Seychelles (Randall 1998). Hard to distinguish A. coccineus and A. crassipes
just by photograhs. The indiviudal photographed here, however, was recorded at a depth of 10 m which is significantly outside the documented depth range
of A. crassiceps.
Allen, G. et al. (2015). Apogon coccineus. The IUCN Red List 2015: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/193399/56971420 (01/10/22).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2022). FishBase. https://www.fishbase.se/summary/Apogon-coccineus.html (01/10/22).
Gon, O. & Randall, J.E. (2002). A Review of the Cardinalfishes (Perciformes: Apogonidae) of the Rea Sea. Published by the South African Institute for
Randall, J.E. (1998). Review of the cardinalfishes (Apogonidae) of the Hawaiian Islands, with descriptions of two new species. aqua, J. Ichthyol. Aquat.
Smith, M. & Heemstra, P. (Eds.) (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4.
Nevill, J.E.G., Brighton, E. & Mason-Parker, C. (2022). Apogon coccineus, Ruby cardinalfish. Seychelles Seatizens. www.seatizens.sc. https://seatizens.sc/species/apogon-coccineus-ruppell-1838/
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