Sphyraenidae: E III A1

Sphyraena jello Cuvier 1829.

Pickhandle baracuda.  

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








60% of NL


Egg: The yolk of this egg is misty and rough-surfaced. The size of oil globule to egg diameter is a feature of this egg, often in the region of 33%. The oil globule is clear. Three pairs of conspicuous white/yellow pigment spots are clearly visible in both the late embryo and early larva (B). Some scattered black stellate pigment dots are on the oil globule and, dorsally, in two parallel rows down the length of the embryo. Eggs hatch in about 40 hours.

Larva: The 1-day larva has just three small white patches (D & D1), which quickly spread; at the anus completely ringing the notochord by day 2 (E). By day 3, the yellow pigment is becoming dispersed, and by day 5, has all but disappeared, leaving only the black pigment along the ventral edge of the gut, a few spots edging the finfold forward of the anus (G).  C: NH, D: 1 day, E: 2 days, F: 3 days, G: 5 days (25°C).

Attempts to rear this egg were thwarted mainly by the low numbers of eggs (although numbers are no guarantee). Eight larvae hatched from this egg have yeilded barcodes. Four match the DNA barcode of 3 adult S. jello collected locally (BOLD), while the other 4 suggeat 2 other species of Sphyraena, but no matches with adult sequences are currently available.

This egg was uncommon, having been seen, on average, less than once per year. It was only collected in summer (blue graph) off Park Rynie, and was not seen in the DHM samples. The Park Rynie linked samples showed an 88% offshore distribution, which is higher than geelbek (LIIA6), indicating spawning on or outside the 50m contour. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples.

Linked samples