Callionymidae: D III A4


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






 Narrow to moderate


49% of NL


Egg: This little egg, with its irregular shape, and distinctive flat spots (A), is very similar in size to DIIIA3 (700-800µm), and easily confused. As the egg develops, yellow pigment does not become as dense, resulting in the newly hatched larva being relatively sparsely pigmented (B). The egg has a narrow but variable perivitelline space, due to its irregular shape.

Larva: The 1-day larva is compact, with a greenish-yellow pigment outline to the head and finfolds (C). This finfold pigment remains with the larva through to at least 3 days (D & D1), but more evenly spread than DIIIA3. The eggs hatched in about 25 hours (23°C). C: 1 day, D: 3 days.

The asymmetrical shape of these eggs may be an indication that they are spawned in clusters. Mito (1963c) illustrates a strikingly similar egg, which he identifies as a lophiid (monkfish), later (Ikeda and Mito 1988), expanded the identification to Lophiiformes, thus including the anglerfishes. Thirty-one larvae from this egg, have been sequenced, but no match has been found among the adult sequences currently available in BOLD. The sequences of these 31 larvae suggest two species, with a 29-2 split. Noting that the pointed snout (D1) is more like a callionymid (CDIIIA1 and DIIIA3) than a lophiid (Mito, 1963c), it is informative that both cluster with callionymids in the dendrogram of South African fish barcodes (BOLD).Two monkfish species, Lophius vomerinus, and Lophiodes insidiator have been sequenced, but reside quite distantly from callionymids in the dendrogram.


This egg is fairly common in the Park Rynie samples (Introductory notes: Section 7, Table 3), with some 785 taken during the study. The egg was not recorded in the DHM samples. The species spawned all year round (blue graph). The annual catch off Park Rynie showed two extreme years, 1987 and 2005, with a small increasing trend from 1997 (white graph). The Park Rynie linked samples had 95% offshore, but 302 of these were in 1 sample. Even with that removed, however, they were still 93% offshore, indicating spawning offshore of the 50m depth contour. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples.

Linked samples