Berycidae: E II A3

Centroberyx spinosus  (Gilchrist, 1903)

Short alfonsino

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








57% of NL


Egg: When fresh, it has a light amber tint, and the oil globule is also light amber (A). The yolk is lightly segmented, and requires a little care to see. Within 24 hours the developing embryo becomes covered in green/yellow and brown/black pigment dots, the latter, more dense. There are few, if any, on the yolk, and just a few on the oil globule. The oil globule is already firmly positioned in the bow (B). Hatch time is about 45-50 hours.

Larva: In the newly hatched larva, the yellow/brown pigment on the body is conspicuous, and often the anal tube (arrowed) has a line of black pigment (C). Occasional specimens hatch with the oil globule towards the stern. Eyes are unpigmented, and the mouth is unformed. By day 3, the eyes are pigmented, but the mouth is still developing. Black pigment has formed a dark line ventrally on the notochord (D), with a small, matching patch dorsally, near the tip. Larvae began feeding at 4-5 days, and by 8 days, long, pigmented pelvic fins have developed, as well as the beginning of a high dorsal fin (F & G, unfortunately a slightly distorted specimen). By day 12, the dorsal had become pigmented as well, and the larva had undergone such a shape change that it reduced in length (H). C: 1 day, D: 3 days, E: 4 days, F &G: 8 days, H: 12 days (23°C).

. The adult is a pretty, deep-bodied, big-eyed bright red fish that can be found under most ledges and in small caves in 30-40m off Park Rynie. It is endemic to South Africa (Heemstra 1986d). Two adults have been sequenced, and 4 larval sequences have provided a match (BOLD).


Linked samples









This was one of the more frequent large eggs off Park Rynie, with about 2000 collected (Introductory notes; Section 7, Table 3).  It was seldom present in big numbers, but the wide spawning season, and localised habits of the fish, make it a frequent presence in samples. It is a summer spawner in KZN waters, but continues into autumn (blue graph). The egg was not seen in DHM samples. Egg catches off Park Rynie have remained fairly steady over the study period(white graph). The Park Rynie linked samples had 74% offshore, which is very similar to Argyrosomus japonicus (LIIIA8), implying the two are spawning a similar distance offshore. Based on diving observations during this study, this is in 30-50m water depth. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples.