Apogon pillionatus

Common Name

Broadsaddle Cardinalfish

Year Described

Böhlke & Randall, 1968


Dorsal Fin: VI, I-9
Anal Fin: II, 8
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 12
Gill Rakers: 11-14 on lower limb
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 14-15 caudal

A small fish with a fairly robust, stout, 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 bluntly emarginate. Body scales ctenoid.


Body bright red to pale salmon, with silvery to yellowish opalescence. The band on the caudal peduncle is very broad but often faint. The anterior and posterior edges of this band are marked by pale to bright white bars. Another dark bar runs from behind the second dorsal fin to behind the anal fin. The eyes are dark blue. The first dorsal fin with a red streak. The remainder of the fins are pale reddish.


Maximum size to 63mm TL.


A reef species found from 5-70m. Inhabits dark holes and recesses in the reef.


S. Florida to Venezuela, including the Caribbean islands.


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.