Introducing our May Fish of the Month, the Pajama Cardinalfish (Sphaeramia nematoptera)!

Survey Regions: Pajama Cardinalfish are found throughout the tropical Pacific, in REEF's Central Indo Pacific (CIP) and South Pacific (SOP) survey regions. View the REEF database sightings reports here: CIP and SOP

Size: They grow to about 3.5 inches.

Identifying Features: Pajama Cardinalfish are deep-bodied with a yellow head, red iris, a dark midbody bar, and spots on the rear body that look like the fish is wearing pajama pants. Their second dorsal fin has a long, trailing filament.

Fun Facts: Pajama Cardinalfish form large schools sheltering within branching coral. They prefer to live in shallow waters of protected bays and lagoons. At night, they become darker and the spots on their rear body become more difficult to see. Like other cardinalfish species, male Pajama Cardinalfish will incubate eggs in their mouths until they are ready to hatch. To learn more about the Pajama Cardinalfish, tune into the upcoming Fishinar, Palau Fishes to Look For on May 17 at 8pm EDT.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month.

Photo by Paddy Ryan.