Apogon gouldi

Common Name

Deepwater Cardinalfish

Year Described

Smith-Vaniz, 1977


Dorsal Fin: VI, I-9
Anal Fin: II, 8
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 12
Gill Rakers: 4-5 on upper, 11-12 on lower limb; 16 total
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 14 caudal
Lateral Line Scales: 24 (pored)

A small fish with a fairly robust, stout, and moderately compressed body. Eye is large and the snout rounded. 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 weakly forked with blunt lobes. Body scales ctenoid. Predorsal scales number 6. Scales around caudal peduncle number 12.


Body bright to pale red. The caudal peduncule and anterior body bars are similar in width. The anterior bar extends almost as far forward as the second ray of the soft dorsal fin. Both bars are dark brown. The fins are reddish with dusky tips to the dorsal, anal, and caudal lobes.


Maximum size to 66mm TL.


Deep rocky reefs from 55-262m.


Scattered records from Bermuda, off the SE U.S., the Bahamas, and Mexico.


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.

Quattrini, A.M., S.W. Ross, K.J. Sulak, A.M. Necaise, T.L. Casazza, and G.D. Dennis. 2004. Marine fishes new to continental United States waters, North Carolina, and the Gulf of Mexico. Southeastern Naturalist 3: 155-172.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1977. Apogon gouldi n. sp., a new cardinalfish from Bermuda (Perciformes: Apogonidae). Notulae Naturae (Philadelphia) No. 452: 1-8.

Smith-Vaniz, W. F. , B. B. Collette and B. E. Luckhurst. 1999. Fishes of Bermuda: history, zoogeography, annotated checklist, and identification keys. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Special Publication No. 4: i-x+1-424, Pls. 1-12.