Banggai Cardinalfish

  Tropical reef fish

Banggai Cardinalfish

Banggai Cardinalfish

Identity card

Banggai Cardinalfish

Scientific name:
Pterapogon kauderni
Year of description:
Koumans, 1933
IUCN Status:

It was discovered in the Banggai Islands of Indonesia.


Coral reefs and seagrass meadows


It can measure up to 7-8 cm in length.


Zooplankton and invertebrates

Banggai Cardinalfish

With the Banggai cardinalfish, the eggs are collected in the male's mouth for the brooding period.


The male does not eat and spends most of its time turning the eggs and disposing of any dead embryos. It also provides shelter for juveniles for several days after hatching before releasing them into the water. It keeps them safe between the spines of sea urchins or between the tentacles of anemones. The Banggai cardinalfish is very protective of its young.

Did you know?

Where is the animal to be found?

The Banggai cardinalfish lives in coral reefs and seagrass beds where currents are gentle. It lives in sedentary groups with an average of ten individuals. Once settled in its environment, it remains attached to its reef and does not wander much. It was only found in the Indonesian archipelago until it became a popular fish for aquarists who have since introduced it elsewhere.

How can it be recognised?

The Banggai cardinalfish is remarkably elegant both because of its oval body shape with tapered fins and because of its colouring with 3 black stripes with white highlights. It is a fish that lives in a multitude of small groups, which are genetically different from each other. It can measure up to 7-8 cm in length.

What is distinctive about it?

The reproductive cycle takes place in 4 phases. These phases are: the couple forms, a sexual parade takes place, dominated by the female that turns around the male, the eggs are laid and finally, the eggs are incubated. They hatch after about thirty days and yield about twenty fish.

Threat and protective measure

EN - endangered and declining. It seems to be highly appreciated by many aquarists. However, its success is proving detrimental as it is now threatened with extinction.

Today, in Indonesia there are three avenues for the conservation and management of P.kauderni: a National Action Plan (2017-2021), the management of a marine protected area (MPA), and a temporary closure on fishing has been decreed.
Its trade is also regulated by the CITES (2022).

Banggai Cardinalfish

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