Phaeoptyx conklini

Common Name

Freckled Cardinalfish

Year Described

Silvester, 1915


Dorsal Fin: VI, I-9
Anal Fin: II, 8
Pelvic Fin: I, 5
Pectoral Fin: 11-12
Gill Rakers: 14-16 lower (first arch)
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. Jaws with bands of villiform teeth. Vomer and palatine with villiform teeth. Preopercular edge with a finely serrate margin. Preopercular flap extends to opercular margin. There are two dorsal fins. The caudal fin is forked. Body scales ctenoid. There are 5 predorsal scales and 12 circum-peduncular scales.


Body translucent pale pinkish or pale orange-brown with pearly sheens. A pair of brown spots on each scale forms a network of spots over the whole body. Spots made up of minute melanophores. Stellate melanophores on the head. Base of caudal fin with a large oval blotch covering almost the entire peduncle. Base of dorsal and anal fins frequently with dark bases made up of tiny speckles but a noticeable pale gap between that and body. Rest of fins clear. Eye silvery to dark gray with a dark bar under it.


Maximum size to 65mm TL.


Found in shallow reefs, seagrass beds, and areas of shelly rubble.


S. Florida to N. S. America, including the Gulf of Mexico and 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.