Pale undercolor with 8 red/brown stripes, whitish tail base with dark to dusky bar, large prominent pointed teeth, large compared to other cardinalfish. Adults usually live in pairs or small groups, juveniles live solitary or in small groups.
Unevaluated by the IUCN, but quite common in tropical waters and widespread.
Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to Pitcairn, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to Lord Howe Island and Rapa. Common in outer reef slopes in 4-30 m depth; in caves and ledges of clear lagoon and seaward reefs, generally hovering solitarily in midwater. They live in a depth range of 0-40 meters.
Sexual maturity is reached at 8cm. in length. The males brood the eggs in their mouth.
Up to 25cm.
Feeds mainly on smaller fish.