Orbiculate Cardinalfish (A Beginner’s Guide)

Orbiculate Cardinalfish

Orbiculate Cardinalfish, also known as the Chubby Cardinal or Polka-dot Cardinalfish, is known by its scientific name as Sphaeramia orbicularis.

It lives in coastal areas in many parts of the Indo-Pacific region, like East Africa, Kiribati, and the Ryukyu Islands.

This fish mostly feeds on small crustaceans found in plankton during nighttime.

Orbiculate Cardinalfish usually stay close to shorelines where they can hide among mangroves, rocks, or debris.

These fish are not commonly found in marine aquariums but are safe for coral reefs.

Orbiculate Cardinalfish Interesting Facts

  • Orbiculate Cardinalfish mate around half-moon phases, pairing up for courtship and spawning.
  • Male Orbiculate Cardinalfish are mouthbrooders, carrying up to 12,000 eggs in their mouths for about eight days.
  • They inhabit marine environments near coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Younf Orbiculate Cardinalfish increase in size by three to six millimeters each month.

Orbiculate Cardinalfish Habitat

Orbiculate Cardinalfish is a tropical marine fish found in the Indo-Pacific region.

Its habitat range stretches from East Africa to Kiribati, including areas north up to the Ryukyu Islands and south down to New Caledonia.

It’s also present from Belau to eastern Caroline and Mariana Islands in Micronesia.

This fish lives in marine environments, particularly near coral reefs, at depths of 0 to 5 meters.

Its habitat lies between the latitudes of 31°N to 27°S and longitudes of 32°E to 173°W.

Water Temperature:Unknown
Water pH:Unknown
Water Hardness:Unknown

Orbiculate Cardinalfish Physical Characteristics

Size: 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters)

Orbiculate Cardinalfish grows to a maximum length of 3.9 inches (10.0 centimeters), but it’s common to see them at around 3.5 inches (8.9 centimeters) long.

This fish has a greenish-grey color with dark vertical stripes on its body.

The pelvic fins are dark in color, and there are scattered spots on its head and the first dorsal fin membrane.

It also has 8 dorsal spines, 9 dorsal soft rays, 2 anal spines, and 9 anal soft rays. Young Orbiculate Cardinalfish have more vivid dark markings.

Their body depth is about 1.8 to 2 times their standard length.

Orbiculate Cardinalfish Reproduction

Orbiculate Cardinalfish has a unique mating process. It mates and lays eggs around half-moon phases, just before full and new moons.

During this time, the fish pair up for courtship and spawning. Orbiculate Cardinalfish are mouthbrooders. Male fish carry the eggs in their mouths.

They can incubate up to 12,000 eggs for about eight days before they hatch into pelagic larvae.

Once hatched, baby fish go through a free-swimming stage before settling down. As they grow, they increase in size by three to six millimeters each month.

Orbiculate Cardinalfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Sphaeramia orbicularis
Also Known As:Orbiculate Cardinalfish, Chubby Cardinal, Polka-dot Cardinalfish
Conservation Status:Unknown

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