Persian Cardinalfish


Name: Persian Cardinalfish

Local name: Sahehatalrahi

Scientific name: Cheilodipterus persicus

Classification: Class: ray-finned fishes; Order: perch-likes; Family: cardinalfishes (Apogonidae)

Size: It attains a total length of about 15 cm.


The Persian Cardinalfish inhabits shallow-water coral assemblages in nearshore and offshore areas, as solitary individuals or in small groups. It feeds primarily on small fishes. Like other Cheilodipterus, it is a mouthbrooder with distinct pairing during courtship and spawning.


The species is only known from the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

Conservation status:

It has not yet been assessed globally by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In a recent regional assessment for the Arabian Gulf it was classified as Least Concern (LC).


The body of the Persian Cardinalfish is elongate and moderately compressed with two separate dorsal fins, the first of six spines, and the second with an initial spine and usually 14 soft rays. It has large canine teeth that are visible when the mouth is open. The color of the head and body is greyish brown dorsally, shading to silvery with lavender and pale blue iridescence on the flanks and ventrally with 10 – 13 dark brown to black stripes that alternate in width and intensity. Laterally on the caudal peduncle is a pupil-size black spot encircled by a bright yellow area. The snout and top of head have a yellow tinge.