Apogon lachneri

Common Name

Whitestar Cardinalfish

Year Described

Böhlke, 1959


Dorsal Fin: VI, I-9
Anal Fin: II, 8
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 12
Gill Rakers: 5-6 upper, 16-17 lower
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 14-15 caudal

A small fish with a fairly robust and moderately compressed body. Eye is large and the snout short. Mouth is fairly large and oblique, with the lower jaw slightly protruding. Both jaws, palatine, and vomer with narrow bands of villiform teeth (no canines). Preopercular edge with a serrate margin. Preopercular flap does not extend past the preopercular rear margin. There are two dorsal fins. The caudal fin is emarginate. Body scales ctenoid. Predorsal scales 6-7. Lateral line scales around 25.


Body pale to bright red, with slightly darker scale edges. A small dark spot immediately behind second dorsal fin has a bright white blotch behind it. The eye is dark with a bluish hue. The fins are very pale red, with dark red blotches on the two dorsal fins and anal fin.


Maximum size to 65mm TL.


On coral reefs from 4-70m. Found in dark recesses and caves.


S. Florida to Belize along the continental coastline, including the Gulf of Mexico. Also in the Caribbean islands to the Lesser Antilles.


Gon, O. 2002. Apogonidae (pp 1386-1391). In: Carpenter. 2002. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic. Vol. 3: Bony fishes part 2 (Opistognathidae to Molidae), sea turtles and sea mammals. FAO Species Identification Guides for Fisheries Purposes. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5.

McEachran, J.D. & J.D. Fechhelm. 2005. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 2: Scorpaeniformes to Tetraodontiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin. i-viii +1-1004.