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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2022

 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

   
   
 
Orbiculate Cardinalfish
   

Fig 1
 

Fig 2


Fig 3
 

Fig 4
 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order : Perciformes
Family : APOGONIDAE
Species : Sphaeramia orbicularis
Maximum Length : 10 cm

Sphaeramia orbicularis (Orbiculate Cardinalfish) inhabits mangrove and shallow, rocky shoreline habitats. It has also adapted to man-made habitats such as sheltered spaces beneath jetties, boardwalks and marinas.

It forms small, loose aggregations suspended in mid-water. It feeds at night, mainly on planktonic crustaceans (for example, small shrimps) (Ref: Fishbase).

Viewed from the side, fishes of the genus Sphaeramia are rounded in shape (the genus name derives from the Greek word sphaira, which means 'ball').

The Orbiculate Cardinalfish is greenish-grey to greyish-brown above and pale below. There is a distinctive oblique, dark band on each flank which extends from the front of the first dorsal fin to the rear of the pectoral fin. The tail fin is slightly forked with rounded lobes, and the eyes are large.

This species is a mouthbrooder; males protect thousands of eggs in their mouths for up to 8 days or so (Ref: Fishbase).

The range of this cardinalfish extends from East Africa, through the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia to northern Australia and the central Pacific Ocean.


Figs 1 to 3 : Examples from Sentosa Cove, Singapore.

Fig 4 : Sentosa Cove marina, Singapore; Sphaeramia orbicularis thrives in small shoals beneath the jetties and boardwalks. Also observed at the same site were Orange-spotted Rabbitfish (Siganus guttatus).


References :

Fishbase