Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Apogonidae
(Cardinalfishes) > Apogoninae
Etymology: Cheilodipterus: Greek, cheilos = lip + Greek, di = two + Greek, pteryx = fin (Ref. 45335). More on author: Smith.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 25 m (Ref. 90102). Tropical
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 10.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 48635)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 8. Body with 4 black stripes; uppermost extending from nape along dorsal-fin base to caudal-fin base; stripes broken to dots posteriorly on caudal peduncle and caudal-fin base; the head between stripes yellowish; fins pale. Developed gill rakers on hypobranchial 1-2; on ceratobranchial 8. Preopercular edge usually smooth, sometimes with several weak serrae at angle (Ref. 8525). Mimics Malacanthus species; only close examination reveals the different mouth shape and the apogonid has two separate dorsal fins, whilst the blenny has a long continuous single fin (Ref. 48635).
Indo-Pacific: Philippines and Indonesia south to Australia and east to Solomon Islands.
This species is apparently a Batesian mimic of the saber-toothed blenny Meiacanthus grammistes. Observed to swim in open water in a similar fashion as this blenny by using its tail to swim rather than the pectoral fins; but if approached, it quickly swims to the cover of reefs (Ref. 48635). Sexually mature between 6 to 6.5 cm. Solitary or in pairs (Ref 90102).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Mouthbrooders (Ref. 240). Distinct pairing during courtship and spawning (Ref. 205).
Gon, O., 1993. Revision of the cardinalfish genus Cheilodipterus (Perciformes: Apogonidae), with description of five new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (22):59 p. (Ref. 8525)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00646 (0.00278 - 0.01501), b=3.19 (2.99 - 3.39), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.6 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (11 of 100) .