Berycidae: E III A8

Centroberyx druzhinini (Busakhin, 1985).

Red-tailed beryx

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








55% of NL


Egg: Fine black pigment dots are seen dorsally on the oil globule, and at the anus of the embryo. The yolk is strongly segmented (B). The PVS is equal to about half the oil globule diameter (A). Incubation is 25-30 hours.

Larva: The NH larva (B) has just a dot of black pigment at the base of the anal tube (B). At 2 days, spots appear on the nose, front edge of oil globule and along the length of the anal tube (C). By day 4, the black pigment has extended forward to the pectoral fins, and just posterior to the anal tube, where spots have also developed dorsally and laterally on the notochord (D). B: NH, C: 1-2 days, D: 4 days (22°C).

This species shows strong affinities to the next species (EIIIA9), and EIIA3. It also shows certain similarities with KIIIA8, but has a segmented yolk and different spawning season. Based on its position in the barcode dendrogram, it was clearly a berycid, but did not match any of the berycid species known from SA waters, based on Smith's Sea Fishes (1987). In 2003, a shoal of berycids was seen in video footage taken during filming of the coelacanths in the canyons off Sodwana Bay (E Heemstra, SAIAB, pers.comm.). A specimen was collected during that expedition, identified as Centroberyx druzhinini, and is now in the SAIAB collection. In July 2010, two specimens of Centroberyx druzhinini, were collected off Southport on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, by Allan Fraser. Tissue from these two fishes has been barcoded, and matches the sequences of 17 larvae hatched from this egg (BOLD). Another adult was caught at a depth of 100m off Park Rynie in October 2011, and has also been barcoded. Catch records show this species is found on the shelf-edge at 100-130m.


Most of these eggs have been found in early winter (blue graph). It has been seen more frequently off Park Rynie, in the past few years, apart from the exceptional sample of 1990 (white graph), although even that sample only comprised 25 eggs . It was not seen in the DHM samples.The Park Rynie linked samples were 86% offshore, indicating spawning mostly on the shelf edge, deeper than where the geelbek spawn. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples.

Linked samples