Five-lined Cardinalfish-Facts and Photographs

 five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus

The Five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus is also known as the Sharp Toothed cardinalfish. They are a fairly common fish on the reefs in Tanzania.

 five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus

APPEARANCE

The Five-lined cardinalfish has proportionally large eyes and has two dorsal fins.  A lot of the time the forward dorsal fin is folded down and only the rear fin is upright. The fins are translucent. The body is a white colour with five lines running horizontally across the body. One of the lines transverses the eye which disguises it quite well.

Five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus

There is a prominent yellow blotch in the caudal area with a black dot in the middle. This may deceive predators as to which direction the fish will take off in when approached. Additionally it may cause smaller predators to try and sneak up on it from the rear where the eye is located giving the fish the opportunity to spot the predator. They grow up to 12 cm but are usually smaller.

 five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus

IN THE WILD

The Five-lined cardinalfish are nocturnal feeders and during the day congregate in groups of five to twenty or thirty. They will usually be seen under an overhang or in a cave during the day. At night they are sometimes seen solitary but unlike other cardinalfish are sometimes seen in small groups of two to five fish.   five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus

HABITAT

The Five-lined cardinalfish is found across the Indian ocean and in the west Pacific. They are found between depths of 10 to 30 meters in Tanzanian waters.

 five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus

DIET

The Five-lined cardinalfish are nocturnal feeders , feeding mainly on zooplankton and small benthic organisms.

 five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus

REPRODUCTION

During breeding pairs are formed and after performing a mating dance, the eggs are laid by the female and fertilized by the male. The male then collects the fertilized eggs and carries the eggs in his mouth until they hatch. During this time the male cannot feed. Towards the end of the incubation period the males become quite skinny making the protruding mouth more noticeable. This can result in cannibalism with the male eating some of the eggs.

 five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus

AQUARIUMS

Five-lined cardinalfish are probably not commonly kept in aquariums. Some cardinalfish have been bred in captivity by breeders such as Orafarm where they are occasionally available.

Purchasing captive bred fish takes the pressure off of wild populations and if one can do so one should.

Five-lined cardinalfish, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus

READ OUR OTHER POSTS ON CARDINALFISH HERE

FIVE-LINED CARDINALFISH CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Apogonidae
Subfamily:Apogoninae
Genus: Cheilodipterus
Species:C. quinquelineatus

LITERATURE CITED

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