cardinal fish

cardinalfish

[kahr-dn-l-fish]
noun, plural (especially collectively) cardinalfish (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) cardinalfishes.
any of the perchlike fishes of the family Apogonidae, many species of which are bright red with black markings.

Origin:
cardinal + fish

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Encyclopedia Britannica
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cardinal fish

any fish of the family Apogonidae (order Perciformes), a group including about 200 species of small, typically nocturnal fishes found in tropical and subtropical waters. The majority of cardinal fishes are marine and live among reefs in shallow water. Some, such as Astrapogon (or Apogonichthys) stellatus of the Caribbean, take shelter in the shells of living conchs. Cardinal fishes range from 5 to 20 cm (2 to 8 inches) in length and are characterized by two dorsal fins, a large mouth, large eyes, and large scales. Many are red or reddish; others may be silvery, brownish, or black.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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