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Author: imberbis Linnaeus, 1758

Apogon (Apogon) imberbis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Diagnosis: body ovate, compressed; head large; eye very large, much greater than snout; preopercular edge only slightly serrated, preopercular ridge smooth; mouth large, oblique, lower jaw slightly protruding; teeth very small, in villiform bands in jaws, on vomer and palatines. Dl VI; D2 I + 9-10; A II + 8-9; pectoral fin long, reaching at least origin of anal fin; caudal fin slightly emarginate. Scales large, ctenoid, 22-30 in lateral line. Colour: body and fins red or pink, back and upper surface of head dusky; two or three dark spots, sometimes joined, along base of caudal fin. Size: to 15 cm SL, usually 10-12 cm.

Habitat: on muddy or rocky bottoms and caves, to about 200 m, in shallower waters (10-15 m) during summer. In small groups or solitary. Food: small invertebrates and fishes. Reproduction: in summer (June-September) in Mediterranean; internal fertilization, oral incubation by males.

Distribution: whole Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic from Portugal to Morocco and the Azores. Elsewhere, southward to Gulf of Guinea.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Lo Bianco, 1909: 694 | Fage, 1918: 36, fig. 24-25 | Bertolini, 1933: 306-309, pl. 19 | de Gaetani, 1937a: 1-10, 8 fig. | Garnaud, 1950: 1962
Otoliths (sagitta). Koken, 1884: 534, pl. 9 (fig. 15) | Shepherd, 1922: 139, pl. 7 (fig. 2) | Sanz Echeverría, 1932: 152, pl. 8 (fig. 1-4) | Chaine & Duvergier, 1935: 174, pl. 14.

Cardinal fish (Apogon imberbis)