Spinyhead Cardinalfish (species: Pristiapogon kallopterus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Pristiapogon kallopterus
Spinyhead Cardinalfish

©Anne Hoggett: Pristiapogon kallopterus at North Point, Lizard Island.

©Andy Lewis: Pristiapogon kallopterus at the Ribbon Reefs, North Queensland.

©Anne Hoggett: Pristiapogon kallopterus in a cavern on reef slope near South Island, Lizard Island group. This one lacks a brown stripe.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Apogonidae
Genus Pristiapogon
Species Pristiapogon kallopterus



Distinguishing features

Pale pinkish brown with darker scale edges; a broad brown stripe that does not extend to a black spot in the centre of the tail base (sometimes lacking); leading edge of first dorsal fin is yellow.


  • Up to 15 cm (Length according to Allen et al, 2003)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Other references

  • Luehrmann, M. (2018). Colour vision diversity in coral reef fishes: Cardinalfish (Apogonidae). PhD thesis, University of Queensland. LIRS catalog number 2325.
  • Luehrmann, M., F. Cortesi, K.L. Cheney, F. de Busseroles and N.J. Marshall (2020). Microhabitat partitioning correlates with opsin gene expression in coral reef cardinalfishes (Apogonidae). Functional Ecology, 34: 1041-1052. LIRS catalog number 2448.