East of Flores Cardinal Fishes

By Susan L. Williams, Ph.D.

Between 10-22 August 2017, cruising and diving East of Flores with the M/V Seven Seas, I identified 27 species of cardinalfishes (Family Agpogonidae) plus a few others that go unnamed by me. After years of ignoring small reddish fishes at night on Caribbean reefs, where there are about a dozen species, the diversity and habit of cardinalfishes in the Coral Triangle have enthralled me. They seem motionless until you look closely when in the blink of an eye, they changed position just slightly, or they slowly retreat away from you to the other side of a black coral bush, each keeping his/her position in an aggregation. My friends Sonia and Christina used magnifying glasses to spend entire dives watching three or four species interact among shallow branching corals including species of Acropora. Below is my incomplete species list.

Apogon sealeibargill cardinal
Apogon crassiceps? ruby cardinalfish
Apogon compressussplitbanded cardinalfish
Cheilodipterus artuswolf cardinalfish
Cheilodipterus intermediusintermediate cardinalfish
Cheilodipterus isostigmatatoothy cardinalfish
Cheilodipterus macrodontiger cardinafish
Nectamia luxuriamulti-barred cardinalfish
Nectamia viria? bracelet cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus aureusringtailed cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus bryxbryx cardinalfish
Ostorhinchys cyanosomayellowstriped cardinalfish
Ostorhinchuys disparwhitespot cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus fleurieuflower cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus hartzfeldiisilverlined cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus hoeveniifrostfin cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus jenkinsispotnape cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus molucensisMoluccan cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus multilineatusmanylined cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus neoteslarval cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus nigrofasciatusblackstripe cardinalfish
Ostorhinchuys parvulusredspot cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus rubrimaculaorangespot cardinalfish
Pristiapogomn kallopterusiridescent cardinalfish
Rhabdamis gracilisslender cardinalfish
Sphaeramia nematopterapajama cardinalfish
Taeniamia fucataorangelined cardinalfish
Taeniamia zosterophoragirdled cardinalfish
Zoramia leptacanthathreadfin cardinalfish

AMAZING tally for one single trip, only East of Flores!

Susan L. Williams, Ph.D.
Professor, Evolution & Ecology
University of California at Davis
Bodega Marine Laboratory

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