fishes text index | photo index
Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Apogonidae
Black cardinalfish
Apogonichthyoides melas
Family Apogonidae
updated Sep 2020

Where seen? This small black fish with rounded fins and tail is sometimes seen on our Southern shores, near living reefs. Elsewhere, it is seen in shallow well protected coastal bays, commonly found under jetties, hiding in dark areas, also in inshore rocky areas and among branching coral. It was previously known as Apogon melas.

To 10cm, those seen usually about 2-4cm. Body rounded with fins that are all rounded, including the tail fins. Whole body dark. Distinguished by a pale-edged dark spot at the base of the second dorsal fin. Tiny fish with a similar shape but only dark in the front portion, might they be juveniles?

Smaller, a juvenile?
Labrador, Sep 09

Dark spot at base of second dorsal fin.
Pulau Senang, Aug 10

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

Black cardinalfishes on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Pulau Sekudu, Jul 21
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.

Labrador, Aug 17
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Kusu Island, Sep 10
Photo shared by James Koh on flickr.

Kusu Island, Dec 18
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Big Sisters Island, Oct 11
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Small Sisters Island, Aug 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Big Sisters Island, May 10
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

St John's Island, Oct 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

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

Raffles Lighthouse, Nov 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

  • Jeffrey K. Y. Low. 23 October 2015. Black cardinalfish in the Singapore Strait. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2015: 161
  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008