Banggai Cardinalfish

Banggai Cardinalfish Pterapogon kauderni

Type of Animal:

Shallow coral reefs, shallow seagrass beds, shallow calm open sand/rubble areas, areas around branching corals/urchins/sea anemones/sea stars/hydrozoans/mangrove prop roots, jetties, sandy seagrass bottoms, prefers water temps of 82.4-87.8 F

Native to Banggai Archipelago & surrounding areas off E C Sulawesi. Introduced to Lembeh Strait in N Sulawesi as well as off NW Bali.

Tasseled 1st dorsal fin, elongated anal/2nd dorsal fin rays, deeply forked tail fin, 3 black bars across head/body/prominent black anterior edges on anal/2nd dorsal fin, disc-shaped fish, silvery-gray body

Copepods, zoobenthos, benthic crustaceans, planktonic crustaceans, shrimp, krill, small fish (including fry/small juveniles of own species), bloodworms, clams

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquariums, zoos, & aquaculture. Captive breeding reducing demand for taking wild fish. Banggai Conservation Project launched in 2004 between Indonesian NGO Yayasan Pemerhati Linkungan & New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences to create marine protected areas in 2 zones of Banggai Archipelago.

Schools of 2-100 fish. Colonial breeders w/ pairs nesting in close proximity to each other.

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: School
0.4 oz

3 weeks 

Life Span:
3-5 years

Body Length:
Adult: 1.5-3 in
Young: 0.79 in

Main predators are honeycomb groupers, lionfish, crocodilefish, snowflake morays, sea kraits, & stonefish.
Threatened due to overcollection for aquarium trade, habitat destruction/degradation, small range, pollution, agricultural runoff, algal blooms, & iridovirus diseases.
These fish lack planktonic larval stage.
Males more attracted to larger females due to higher fecundity & females attracted to larger males.
Each female releases around 40-90 eggs into water, which male then fertilizes.
When eggs hatch, male broods them in mouth for up to a month & goes w/o eating.
Also called Kaudern’s Cardinalfish & Longfin Cardinalfish.
They’re very good at hiding.
Often hide among urchins & anemones for protection from predators.
Female usually initiates courtship by creating spherical spawning site.
Breed throughout the year.

Fun Fact(s):
Popular in aquariums due to appearance & ease of care.
1st became popular in aquarium/pet trade in 1990s, w/ hundreds of thousands being exported annually. Aquacultured specimens more prevalent than wild-caught specimens but wild-caught specimens still common on market.
One of most valuable marine aquarium fishes in US.

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