Pterapogon kauderni

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Common Name
Bangaii Cardinal
Binomial Name
Pterapogon kauderni
Pterapogon kauderni.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Apogonidae
Genus: Pterapogon
Species: kauderni

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Common Names

  • Bangaii Cardinal



Bangaii cardinal fish have medium sized bodies, with fins making up the majoirty of fishes size. They have strong vertical, black stripes (on silver) and are covered in oppalescent dots, thoughout the fishes fins.

Similar Species

The Bangaii cardinal fish are very distinct, and cannot be confussed with other species.

Maximum Size

Maximum size of 8 cm[1] with a total life span of 4 years in captivity and on average 1 - 2 years in the wild.[1]

Associated Organisms

Bangaii cardinal fish are often associated with the long spinned urchin (Diadema sp.), although this is not required in captivity.


Bangaii cardinals' swimming behaviour is much like other large cardinals, somewhat boring. They tend to sit and 'hover' mid-water, but can look attractive in a group or pair. Feeding triggers a flurry of swimming, as does courting.

Captive Care

Tank Size

A minimum tank size of 80-100L is ideal. This provides ample space for open-water swimming, and areas for cover.

Water Flow

Water flow should not be intense. If high flow is used, there needs to be atleast ample zones of variable flow where the Bangaii can retreat too.


No special lighting requirements.


Many Bangaii will take frozen foods, and may be weened onto dried flake and pellets. Fresh seafood may also be used for conditioning.

Growth Rate

Bangaii have a medium to fast growth rate, due to (a reported) shorter lifespan.


Beware of diseased and potentially weak Bangaii when purchasing. They are prone to several diseases, but not when kept in good conditions.


Be wary of wildcaught specimens refussing to eat before purchase. Always ask an LFS to feed any suspect Bangaii before purchasing.




Bangaii can cohabit with most other species. Once a pair has formed in a group, beware of bullying conspecifics.


The Bangaii Cardinal is compatible with all coral species.


Bangaii do consume invertebrates, but are generally compatible with most.


Captive reproduction is very achievable. Starting from a group, a pair normally establish. It is at this time the other group members should be removed, to save them from bullying.

The male mouth broods - the male of the species incubates a small clutch of eggs within his lage mouth. This can last up to several weeks. The females only major role in reproduction is producing eggs, and defending the male.

An urchin is used in the wild, by fry, for protection. If one cannot be housed in the aquarium, a substitute can be used (including structures such as cable ties).

Problems with commercialisation of this species includes small and often unpredictable broodsize, and the males' tendancy to unexpectedly swallow eggs.

Local Ecology


Banggai Archipelago and Luwuk Harbour and a small introduced population at Lembeh Strait. [1]


Additional Information

Has been listed on the IUCN Redlist of Threatened Species: Pterapogon kauderni, with the assessment being:

The decline information is not sufficient to apply Criterion A and likewise
Criteria C and D cannot be used because the population is too large. However, based
on the very small area of occupancy (AOO), the severe fragmentation (see the
documentation below) and the ongoing continuing decline (local extirpations and
marked decrease in population size in recent years) due to exploitation for the
international aquarium trade, this species is assessed as Endangered under
Criterion B.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 ( CITES. Fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The Hague (Netherlands), 3-15 June 2007