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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Apogonidae
Chequered cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus margaritophorus
Family Apogonidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This small silvery fish is commonly seen on many of our shores, especially on the Northern shores. Often seen in small groups, in pools among seagrasses and coral rubble. It was previously known as Apogon margaritophorus.

To about 5.5cm, those seen usually about 3-4cm. White and reddish to brownish stripes on sides. Two wide stripes along the length of the body. Between these two stripes are narrow vertical lines that forms a window-like or chequered pattern. According to FishBase, the fish is found in "small groups, usually sheltering near long-spined urchins or large anemones in seagrasses".

On our shores, it is sometimes seen hovering near carpet anemones, but not touching the sea anemones. However, the fish has not been observed near our long-spined sea urchins.

Pulau Hantu, Nov 03

Pulau Hantu, Jan 06

Window-like patterns on the sides.

Large eyes and mouth.

Brooding eggs in the mouth.
Pulau Semakau, Oct 11

Pulau Semakau, Oct 11

Pulau Semakau, Oct 11

Releasing newly hatched babies?

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Chequered cardinalfishes on Singapore shores

Photos of Chequered cardinalfishes for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Pulau Semakau, Apr 08
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on his flickr.

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11
Photo shared by Ivan Kwan on flickr.

Tuas, Mar 09

Pulau Senang, Aug 10

Pulau Senang, Aug 10

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09

chequered cardinals @ terumbu raya 09Feb2009 from SgBeachBum on Vimeo.

  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
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