Banggai Cardinalfish – Full Description, Spawning & Weird Behavior

Banggai Cardinalfish

Last updated on September 3rd, 2022 at 04:06 pm

The Banggai cardinalfish is a little tropical cardinalfish in the Apogonidae family. It remains the only member of its genus.

This appealing fish is popular in the fish tank trade. It is amongst the fairly couple of marine fish to have actually been reproduced routinely in captivity, however, substantial numbers are still captured in the wild and it is now a threatened type Paired with human imperfections, deadly diseases are understood to have actually affected these types. Iridovirus disease is understood to be a substantial factor for fish death.

The Banggai cardinalfish Distribution

Banggai Cardinalfish

This type is limited to the Banggai Islands of Indonesia. This type has a very restricted geographical variety (5,500 km2) and little overall population size (approximated at 2.4 million).

The Banggai cardinalfish is made up of separated populations focused around the shallows of 17 big and 10 little islands within the Banggai Island chain.

Description of the Banggai cardinalfish

These types can mature and grow up to almost 8 centimeters (3 inches) in overall length. It is quickly separated from all other cardinalfishes by its tasseled first dorsal fin, extended anal and second dorsal fin rays, deeply forked caudal fin, and color scheme including 3 black bars throughout the head and body and popular black anterior edges on the anal and 2nd dorsal fin.

The male can be distinguished from the female by an obvious, bigger mouth, which appears just when they are brooding.


The Banggai cardinalfish is the only member of its household that is diurnal.

It is a demersal tropical marine fish that forms steady groups of about 9 individuals in shallow water, being most typical at 1.5 to 2.5m in depth. It lives in a range of shallow environments, consisting of reefs, seagrass beds, and open locations of sand and debris.

It is most typical in calm environments on the safeguarded side of bigger islands. It is frequently discovered associated with the seagrass Enhalus acoroides and the long-spined sea urchin Diadema setosum.

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It occurs amongst numerous living benthic substrates such as sea urchins, sea polyps, and branching corals; young fish are most frequently connected with sea polyps, while grownups and juveniles occur most often amongst long-spined sea urchins and branching corals, along with sea stars, hydrozoans, and mangrove prop roots.

Individuals of 2 to 60 hover above the urchins, with the more youthful ones about 2 to 3 centimeters SL remaining closest to them. When threatened, the fish retreat amongst the spinal columns.

When threatened, specific fish show distinct homing behavior and return to the initial place of their group. The Banggai cardinalfish frequently exists side-by-side with numerous anemone shrimp and anemonefish when safeguarding in corals and polyps; when discovered amongst sea urchin spinal columns, it relates to numerous other genera of cardinalfish.

Following the removal of the fish by fish tank collectors, the abundance of associated invertebrates has actually been seen to decrease. This fish is an opportunistic feeder. Its diet plan consists of planktonic, demersal, and benthic organisms.

Copepods make up the bulk of its diet plan. It works as an essential food source for numerous types of lionfish, the honeycomb grouper, the crocodile fish, the snowflake moray, the estuarine stonefish, and the yellow-tipped sea krait.

The Banggai cardinalfish is a paternal mouthbrooder. The female plays an active function in courtship and set development, which happens a couple of hours to a couple of days prior to spawning. Mating sets develop spawning areas numerous meters far away from the primary group and strongly safeguard them.

The eggs are around 2.5 mm in size. The young stay in the male’s mouth cavity for an undetermined duration after hatching. Unlike lots of other types of marine fish, the Banggai cardinalfish does not have a planktonic phase in its biography. The types have a brief life expectancy, reaching around 4 years in ideal conditions in captivity, and maybe 1 to 2 years in the wild

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In captivity

Banggai Cardinalfish

The Banggai cardinalfish is a popular tropical fish amongst fishkeepers.
The fish is gathered by regional fishers and offered into the fish tank trade. These types initially appeared in the global trade around 1995 or 1996. By 2001, 600,000 to 700,000 fish were exported yearly.

Trade approximates for 2001 through 2004 are 700,000 to 900,000 fish each year with collection taking place throughout the island chain. Studies revealed substantial (> 90%) decreases in 2 populations that were fished from 2001 to 2004, consisting of the termination of a population off of Limbo Island.

This fish has actually been effectively reproduced in captivity. Captive breeding provides an alternative to wild-caught fish. The reasonably high expense, an advantage ratio of its production integrated with the big number of less pricey wild-harvested fish avoided growth of aquaculture efforts. In the last few years, costs for captive reproduced or aquacultured specimens have actually plunged as many numbers have actually gotten in the marketplace.

Since early 2018 aquacultured individuals are routinely readily available for as low as $14 per fish, and aquacultured specimens comprise the large bulk of the marketplace. In addition, a freshly emerging risk in the type of a viral illness has actually been recorded in wild-harvested individuals preserved in captivity.

Collection for the fish tank trade has actually threatened this type with termination. This increases the need for captive-bred specimens. It is noted as a threatened type by the IUCN based upon its little variety, the fragmentation of its circulation, and its continuing decrease due to exploitation for the global fish tank trade.

In 2007, the types were proposed to be noted for security under MENTIONS Appendix II, which might restrict the export of wild-caught individual, however, Indonesia would not support this, and the proposition was withdrawn


The Banggai cardinalfish are sexually monomorphic. The sets form approximately 2 weeks prior to spawning. The female courts the male from set formation till spawning. The female’s size figures out the fecundity and egg size, however, the male’s size determines the reproductive output or the variety of the eggs that the set produces. Pairing tends to occur amongst individuals of comparable sizes, so the male is able to care for all the eggs that the female produces.

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In the Banggai cardinalfish, courtship habits are typically started by the female. Upon picking a mate, the female isolates her possible mate from other individuals in the nest by producing around a spawning web that is around 50 to 60 cm in size. The basic motion that the female shows are called’ side by side trembling’ which is when the female approaches the male from behind with an energetic trembling movement while the male stays motionless.

She positions herself along with him and tilts her body thirty degrees outside from its vertical airplane when the male and female’s caudal and anal fins come into contact.

The female repeats this motion up until the male reacts with erratic ‘mouth opening,’ an indication of receptiveness. Such courtship habits might last from a number of hours to 2 to 33 days.

When a trespasser disrupts a female’s courtship habits, the female would quickly and strongly chase after the trespasser away if the trespasser is of the very same sex.

When the secondary male, or the burglar male techniques, he, rather of the female, show shivering habits and likewise assists to protect the female and main male’s isolated area.

The female leaves occasionally to go to the secondary male and shows shivering habits which typically results in breeding if the main male does not respond to the female’s trembling

Spawning in Banggai cardinalfish

Banggai Cardinalfish

When the male accepts female courting, the female expels eggs from her urogenital papilla. Female Banggai cardinalfish produce a reasonably little clutch, including no greater than 90 eggs that are 2 to 3 mm in size. When about three to fourths of the egg mass extends from the female, the male takes the eggs from her. This procedure is instant, taking no more than 2 seconds.

Eggs might be lost while doing so if the male drops them, as they are normally right away taken in by other fish in the location. Males likewise have the capability to find dead eggs and expel them from their mouths.

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The male broods the eggs in his mouth for approximately one month, throughout which he does not feed. After spawning, the female stays with the brooding male for at least a couple of days.

Females strongly protect their area by instantly going after any trespassers that approach the brooding males. They likewise show an unwinded kind of ‘side-by-side trembling’, and restrict the males to a little area

Juvenile habits of the Banggai cardinalfish

Juvenile Banggai cardinalfish do not go through any pelagic larval stage. Rather, they experience a high development rate. The free embryos maintain their size difference after hatching, they increase several times in weight while being brooded inside their father’s mouth.

At release, the Banggai cardinalfish juveniles are many times heavier than they were at hatching. Juveniles settle straight within the parent’s environment upon release from their daddy’s mouth. They form a tight school around various structures such as sea corals, anemones, and urchins, and swim around together while the father does not show much caring habits for the hatched fishes.