The Plain Cardinalfish is a small yellowish fish with two blue stripes through they eyes.
The Plain Cardinalfish is mauve to reddish-grey above grading to yellow below. It has a blue-margined dark stripe from the snout to the eye and two blue stripes continuing through they eye and across the operculum. There are blue spots on the sides of the body. The tip of the first dorsal fin is black.
The species occurs in coral reef and inshore waters. It is most often seen at depths exceeding 30 m but is infrequently seen in waters as shallow as 2 m in sheltered bays and lagoons.
It occurs throughout the tropical Indo-west Pacific.In Australia it is known from the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland and islands of the Coral Sea.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Males mouth-brood the eggs.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and Shore Fishes of the South Pacific: New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. University of Hawai’i Press. Pp. 584.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.