Species Index

Ostorhinchus aureus
(Lacepede, 1802)

Common Name: Ringtail Cardinalfish

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-West Pacific region: Red Sea and East Africa to Papua New Guinea, north to Japan, south to Australia and New Caledonia. Occurs in the northern half of Australia, from Geraldton in Western Australia, across the tropical north to Torres Strait, south through Queensland to New South Wales with juveniles found as far south as Montague Is.

Ecological Notes: Frequents caves and crevices on reef crests and slopes in shallow waters. Depth range to 40 m.

Additional Notes: Overall golden coloured with a wide black band encircling the base of the caudal fin. Bright blue lines adorn the head. Fish in top photograph has eggs in mouth (note distension under lower jaw). Solitary or in small schools, adults pair during courtship and spawning, often in large aggregations. Feed at night on zooplankton and small invertebrates. Grows to 12 cm.

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.125.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 19/06/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 19/06/18.