Astrapogon alutus

Common Name

Bronze Cardinalfish

Year Described

Jordan & Gilbert, 1882


Dorsal Fin: VI, I-9
Anal Fin: II, 8
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 13-15 (usually 14)
Gill Rakers: 9-12 lower (first arch)
Vertebrae: 10 precaudal, 14-15 caudal
Lateral Line: 23-45 pored scales

A small fish with a fairly robust and moderately compressed body. Eye is large and the snout short. Head profile flat between orbits. Mouth is fairly large and oblique, with the lower jaw slightly protruding. Jaws with bands of villiform teeth. Vomer and palatine with villiform teeth. Preopercular edge with a smooth margin. There are two dorsal fins. The caudal fin is truncate to slightly forked. Pelvic fin not much expanded (compared to other 2 species). Body scales cycloid. Predorsal scales absent.


Body pale tan to whitish with a moderate to dense peppering of dark melanophores giving the fish an overall dark appearance. Fins clear with large dark melanophores. Pelvic fin with dark tip. Three dark bars radiate from eye (two above and one under it). Eye bronze.


Maximum size to 65mm TL.


Lives on coral reefs and seagrass beds. Never found in live conch shells but common in sponges and other recesses.


Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea


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.