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cardinal fishIridescent Cardinal fish
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Class: Actinopterygii  Perciformes  Apogonidae Apogoninae
Scientific name: Apogon kallopterus 
Common name: Irridescent Cardinal fish
Hawaiian name: ­‘Upapalu

The iridescent cardinal fish is a wide-ranging species that lives on reefs from the Red Sea in the west to Easter Island in the eastern Pacific, and in latitude from Hawaii to New Zealand.

This strictly nocturnal fish wears the characteristic red uniform of night hunters. It is equipped with large, light-gathering eyes. It commonly occurs around patch reefs in lagoons and on seaward reefs to a depth of around 150 feet. During the day it hovers in the shelter of caves, crevices and under overhangs.

An hour or so after darkness they venture out to forage over the reef for small crustaceans (primarily, benthic creatures such as small shrimps, crabs as well as tiny planktonic crustaceans).

Cardinal fishes frequently form pairs during the breeding season and the males brood the eggs and young in their mouths. During the course of the season the males may tend many successive broods. Unable to feed properly with mouths full of eggs or young the male’s condition tends to deteriorate over time. It transpires that, in some species at least, the females produce additional eggs a portion of which the males may consume to make up for their metabolic losses.

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