Uranoscopidae: CM I A3

Uranoscopus sp.


Egg diameter in µm

Number of oil globules

Diameter of oil globule in µm

Yolk texture

Perivitelline space

Position of oil globule at hatch

Gut length   at eye- pigment stage








48% of NL


Egg: The egg size, finely reticulated pattern of the chorion, and  small, multiple (6-10) oil globules, make this egg unique (A & B)  As the egg develops, the embryo becomes conspicuously pigmented in pink and orange dots and stellate black pigment spots, clearly visible through the chorion (B), which was photographed 58 hours PC. Incubation takes 70-80 hours.

Larva: The 2-day larva is sturdy, with pigmented eyes, a developed mouth, and yellow and black pigment around the eyes, gut and midtail (C & D). C & D: 2 days, E: 7 days.

There are only two species of Uranoscopidae known in KZN waters, and one is considered rare (Heemstra 1986c). This egg is virtually identical to that illustrated by Shao et. al as Uranoscopus japonicus. Four larvae hatched from this egg have been barcoded, but curiously they indicate three different species. Two of the 4 larvae match the barcode sequences of 5 localy collected Uranscopus archionema (BOLD).

The few eggs collected were mostly found in winter (blue graph). The egg was not seen in the DHM samples. Only 13 eggs were found in the Park Rynie linked samples, of which 10 were offshore. The species is best known from trawls in 60-300m water depth (Heemstra 1986c), so can be regarded as largely an offshore species. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples.