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Banggai Cardinalfish

Banggai Cardinalfish
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-10-01
Categories: Fish
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 200
Exposure: f/4, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Masterpieces with Bridge or Compact cameras, Very well documented! [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2012-01-14 23:30
Viewed: 5127
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Banggai Cardinalfish / Pterapogon kauderni

On our 2nd day of our Cape Province vacation we visited the East London aquarium and although the conditions for photography was poor, I managed to capture one or two fishes with success, this Banggai Cardinalfish being one of them. If I say the conditions were poor, I mainly refer to the glass of the tanks being scratched and quite dirty and so the water of most of the tanks too.

Each time I did photography in an aquarium it was a new challenge as I personally feel is it is not and easy type of photography. There are so many factors one have to take in consideration, like dirty glass, people standing close to you and who's silhouettes appear in the image, flashlight creating a white spot in the image, etc. etc. and at the end of the day you end up with lots of boo-boo's. Loot has done a whole series on Tips and Techniques for Aquarium Photography in 2007, which is very interesting reading material. He is a real master in this type of photography as it actually looks as if he climbed into the tank with the fish and then photographed them.

We also visited the Two Oceans aquarium in Cape Town later during our holiday and it was by far a better camera-friendly venture, and an outing I enjoyed very much. I will also share images I have taken there later on in the months to come. This is a 1st for Trek Nature.

Taxonomic Notes
The Banggai Cardinalfish has 8 dorsal spines, 14 dorsal soft rays, 2 anal spines, and 13 anal soft rays. This species is distinguished further by having a tasseled 1st dorsal fin and a deeply forked caudal fin. Both the 2nd dorsal fin rays and anal fin rays are elongate. The colour pattern is quite distinctive with 3 black bars across the head and body, black edges along the anterior margins of the 2nd dorsal and anal fins, black edges along the upper and lower margins of the caudal fin, and black pelvic fins marked with white spots. A series of similar white spots run along the edges of the second dorsal, anal and caudal fins. The body is silvery and contains about 20 brilliant whitish dots between the second and third black bars. Dots of each individual have a unique disposition that can be used for specimen identification. Body size of adults reaches 80mm total length and 55mm standard length. Secondary sexual dimorphism has not been demonstrated for this species.

Red List Category and Criteria

Habitat and Ecology
The Banggai Cardinalfish occurs primarily on shallow sheltered bays and harbors, mainly on silt reef flats with sandy bottoms and sea grass beds. Depth distribution is generally ranges between 0.5 and 6m, but is most commonly found between 1.5 and 2.5m. Some populations inhabit very clear waters in coral reef areas, while others inhabit still, murky bays, and some groups are found in sandy patches associates with anemones, and less commonly, in open habitats (low branching corals and rubble). This species inhabits a variety of shallow habitats, including coral reefs, sea grass beds and open areas of sand and rubble. It is most common in calm habitats on the protected side of larger islands; isolated populations also occur in areas affected by strong surge and moderate currents.

Water temperatures in these habitats range from 28°C to 33°C. There is an ontogenetic shift in habitat and microhabitat use between juveniles and adults that occurs within the same area and depth; all size classes, including mating pairs and brooding males, overlap in their distribution; the shift in use is not the consequence of differential feeding habitats or intra specific competition. The processes governing this ontogenetic shift are not clear. No pre-settlement factor is involved, however, because this species lacks a pelagic larval phase and embryos released by brooding males settle into parental habitat directly. Juveniles associate with sea grasses, sea urchins, sea stars, sea anemones, soft corals and corals. Adults shelter between the spines of sea urchins but also among anemones, corals, stony hydrozoans, rocks and artificial structures such as jetties. Juveniles associate with sea grasses, sea urchins, sea stars, sea anemones, soft corals and corals. Adults shelter between the spines of sea urchins but also among anemones, corals, stony hydrozoans, rocks and artificial structures such as jetties.

As opposed to other described apogonids, it has diurnal tropic habits, and its feeding activity decreases with the day and ceases around sunset time. It is a carnivore-planktivore that feeds principally upon copepods, but it is also a generalist opportunistic species that feed upon a variety of taxa, principally planktonic demersal and benthic organisms. Stomach content analysis found prey representing 29 taxa with a taxonomic level of suborder or higher belonging to 6 phyla: Rhyzopoda, Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Chaetognatha, and Chordata. There were no significant differences in diet composition between size classes. Quantitative analysis showed that copepods make up about 79% of its diet, and that other important components are decapods and isopods. There was an important variation in diet composition among the sites. Representative food items include ascidian larvae, chaetognaths, post-settled gastropod and bivalve juveniles, polychaetes, acarids, copepods, amphipods, stomatopods, cumaceans, isopods, euphausiids, ostracods, cirriped larvae, mysids, decapod larvae, tanaidaceans, and the larvae of teleost and chironomid insects.

Breeding Biology
Banggai Cardinalfish pairs defend territories jointly and for 3 likely reasons: 1) spawning site defence (viewed as unlikely because spawning sites do not seem to be limiting), 2) partner defence (females defending brooding males), and 3) to avoid spawning attempts by "sneaker male". Contrary to predictions for a sex role-reversed species, and all other apogonids studied to date, males assume the role of the principal aggressor towards intruders in their territories prior to brooding. For both males and females, however, territorial aggression is greater towards intruders of the same sex. In experimental introductions of larger male intruders into territories held by male-female pairs, the intruding male was unable to replace the resident male even though the resident female may have courted the intruder; as well, males never courted intruding females. Because this species may have roles that are sexually equivalent, male and females likely play different roles in the defence of jointly-held territories. As with other cardinal fishes, the Banggai Cardinalfish is an obligate paternal mouthbreeder.

This species has a relatively short life span and has a generation time of 1½ years; these are all indications of reasonably good resilience. Unfortunately, this species' small population size, limited distribution, low fecundity, great parental investment, and rate of extraction lower this species resilience with corresponding severe negative effects. The combination of a lack of planktonic dispersal and particular oceanographic characteristics of the Banggai region (deep channels and strong currents) has likely contributed to the extreme philopatry of this species. In addition, its within-parental habitat recruitment, sedentary nature, and shallow habitat preference preclude it from dispersing even to nearby islands and have led it to a high degree of genetic structure. It is especially susceptible to indiscriminate collecting, e.g., its association with shallow microhabitats greatly facilitates its capture, while the lack of dispersal mechanisms make it almost impossible for this species to re-colonize areas where they have been depleted. This species is highly prized in the aquarium trade and thus highly vulnerable to over-fishing, post-capture mortality, and habitat destruction. Source

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

maaciejka, uleko, samiran88, CeltickRanger, cobra112, skobek, jlinaresp, eqshannon, marius-secan, Jakkals, FunkyMunky, williewhistler, bungbing, pegos, paolo49, Argus, marhowie, vanda has marked this note useful
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To Jakkals: FlashMiss_Piggy 1 01-16 10:02
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-01-15 0:08]

Hello Anna,
Amazing photo of this fish. The light highlighted it very well, great use of the flash. Spectacular colours and excellent sharpness. Beautiful out of field background.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-01-15 0:54]

Hello Anna,
what a beauty here. Lovely focus and a perfect shot. Brilliant work.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6554 W: 89 N: 15641] (65421)
  • [2012-01-15 1:48]

Hi Anna,i don't like pics taken in zoos or acquariums,but i know how isn't easy a perfect work like that,it's too easy to take pics underwater i think...hhee...a very nice specie,never seen before,and a top quality pic.Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano

Hello Anna,
South Africa must be really beautiful. Your landscapes are so beautiful and now we can see what is going on in water even if it's in aquarium :)
Amazing colours. Perfect composition. Nice water environment.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2012-01-15 4:14]

Hi Anna,
Perfect shot of a beautiful fish. Nice colours and composition with excellent detail.
Regards Jiri.

Loot is a Guru figure for most of us, Anna. I'm happy you learnt from him how to photograph fish in an aquarium.
This is a truly marvellous image. You have surmounted all the hazards and obstructions you mention in your note. The clarity, sharpness and colours are outstanding.
Thanks and regards,

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2012-01-15 4:17]

Merhaba Anna!

Olağanüstü desen ve çizgileriyle bu sevimli balığı bizlerle paylaşman çok güzel. Tekrar tekrar bakılacak bir balık fotoğrafı. Yeni çalışmalarınızda görüşmek üzere...


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2012-01-15 4:21]

Hello Anna,
I see you've fallen for the same species of fish that I opted for when visiting an aquarium in Stockholm last!! It is very beautiful and your capture is really great even though the glass was in between! I love those narrow and spotted fins and details are so sharp. It stands out very nicely against the background too.
I used to have an aquarium as a child and I really love the underwater world!
Many thanks and best regards, Ulla

hello Anna
very nice picture with great details nice light and beautiful colours
Great shot from this beauty fish
greeting lou

what a fantastic colourful fish this is. good sharpness and colour.
thanks for well written note.

Ciao Anna, great capture of lovely fish with fantastic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hello Anna

Excellent photo with beautiful light and color tones,
excellent focus sharpness and details,
the fish has a beautiful eye-contact,
the little catch-light render the photo
always better, TFS


Ciao Anna. Exciting colours and light with excellente details. Very well done this unusual capture.


Hello Anna,
very spectacular fish, shining with a great eye. Nice background and good composition.
Regards - Slawek

Hello Anna,
Congratulations!... Shoting fish in aquariums is a di9fficult work!... I like a lot the result for this shot, archieving great colors and contrast in the fish body... yes, great shot!.
And...what a note!

You have met the challenge of shooting into an aquarium and won it this time. that little fishy sticks out VERY well. It is blindingly obvious. Great story to go along. glad you had a nice trip!

  • Great 
  • tcr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 156 W: 8 N: 537] (3336)
  • [2012-01-15 18:34]

Your photo reminds me to visit the aquarium this year.
Beautiful species of cardinalfish.
Precise point of view, fine contrast and composition.

Hello Anna,
What a great photo with a wonderful fish. Brilliant colors and superb sharp details.
Thanks for sharing this outstanding capture!

Hello Anna,
Excellent capture!! The Flash enhances your subject with regards of the white colouration and created a perfect DOF. Well done my friend.
Best regards,
I read in a Photographic magazine about a filter that eliminates all reflection of a photo taken in an aquarium (frontal view). Will research again and let you know.

WEll done! I know from experience that it is difficult to photographe fish through aquarium glass.

Hello Anna,
as you mentioned there are a great many difficulties photographing in Aquariums,however you have done very well to fill the frame with this pretty fish.
There is a lot of detail throughout,well done.

Anna, this is a wonderful shot of this beautiful fish. Great sharpness and POV. Thanks for your kind comment on my cormorant. Have a great day, Bill

Hello Anna,
A very nice picture of this beautiful fish, great exposure, good details sharpness and lovely natural, great work,
Thanks for sharing and have a great week,
Best Regards,

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2012-01-17 4:30]

Great visual impact in this splendid image, Anna!
Beautiful lightness and wonderful colours. Compliments!
Thanks for sharing

Impressive photo Anna! Excellent composition and great sharpness. The lighting and the colours are fantastic!

Hi Anna,
very good sharpness and point of view. Many details. Great composition. Nice natural colours.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Anna,
Aren't many images with fishes so good like yours. The details, sharpness, colours and composition are great. Well done!

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 281 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-01-17 17:54]

Hello Anna,
I totally agree with you when it comes to taking photos from an aquarium, things have to be just right or you end up with lots of Boo Boo's.
I would have to say everything was perfect for you in this instance. You must have paid alot of attention to Loot's tips, as this is one very fine image.
Focus is tac sharp and colors are simply gorgeous. I can see why this is a favorite of those dealing in aquarium fish. I'm not familiar with longevity in fish, but 1 1/2 years sure doesn't seem like a very long time. I'm thankful I'm not a fish:) Great work!!

  • Great 
  • Cobo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 235 W: 1 N: 534] (5797)
  • [2012-01-18 10:52]

A very well done picture, The ilumination is very correct, and I like the fish and the color. Congratulation. Un saludo.

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2012-01-18 11:07]

Hello Anna!
Wow!!! very nice pic with great colors and beautiful ambience.Very difficult to shot through glass...but you did very well! Bravo! I love the light control and the sharpness.Great job, indeed! Thanks for sharing and also thanks for your kind commenst in my last pic.I really appreciated it!
Best regards from,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2012-01-22 9:37]

Hello Anna,
A very impressive litle fish, well taken through the aquarium glass. Excellent sharpness and colours that are well highlighted by the use of flash.
Thanks and have a good week,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2012-01-26 1:21]

Hello Anna,
this is amazing. Never seen this fish before and it is so special and exciting.
thanks for sharing this superb capture of yours.


Very beautiful and exotic this "Cardinalfish", but where are the feathers? ;-}
Great shot Anna, and everything one would ever want to know about it too! :)

  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2012-02-18 14:48]

Hi Anna!
I realize that it is difficult to photograph in an aquarium. For this reason I must say you did a great work. You captured this nice fish with perfect focus and great clarity. Nice lighting and great DOF.
Very well done: congratulations.
Ciao! Vanda

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