Cheilodipterus artus

Wolf Cardinalfish | Arrow-tooth Cardinafish | Lined Cardinalfish
Cheilodipterus artusCheilodipterus artus, juvenile, Naigani Is, Fiji, Photo: Andrew Green
Cheilodipterus artusCheilodipterus artus, Intermediate, Coral Sea, Qld, Photo: Andrew Green
Cheilodipterus artusCheilodipterus artus, adult, Northern Great Barrier Reef, Photo: Joe Shields
Cheilodipterus artusCheilodipterus artus, juvenile, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Cheilodipterus artus
Cheilodipterus artus
Cheilodipterus artus
Cheilodipterus artus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Pale body colour with 8 or 9 dark stripes, juveniles only possesing 4 or 5, with the additional stripes forming between already established ones giving the intermediate phases a distinctive dark-faint stripe pattern. Yellow tail base with black spot becoming darker with age. Almost impossible to distinguish from C. intermedius in the field at small sizes, but C. intermedius retains light tail base in larger individuals.


Max Size: 19 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 22.3-31.7°C

Depth: 2-20m

Habitat Generalization Index: 7.06

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (9.4% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Many (13 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland

Further Information