The Moluccan Cardinalfish changes colour according to the time of day. It is often silvery during the day and brown to reddish at night.
The Moluccan Cardinalfish has a whitish spot behind the base of the second dorsal fin. The species name ‘monospilus’ means ‘one spot’. The fish is often silvery during the day and brown to reddish at night.
The Moluccan Cardinalfish occurs in coral reef and inshore waters.
The species occurs in the tropical Western Pacific. In Australia it is known from north-western Western Australia to the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Kuiter (2000) reports juveniles as far south as Sydney Harbour.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Ozcam map of Moluccan Cardinalfish specimens in the Australian Museums. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Ostorhinchus%20monospilus&zoom=off#mapView
Other behaviours and adaptations
The Moluccan Cardinalfish is a nocturnal species.
- Fraser, T. H., Randall, J. E. & G. R. Allen. 2002. Clarification of the cardinalfishes (Apogonidae) previously confused with Apogon moluccensis Valenciennes, with a description of a related new species. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 50(1): 175-184.
- Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437. (as A. moluccensis)
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557. (as A. moluccensis)