Labridae: K III A2

Anchichoerops natalensis (Gilchrist & Thompson, 1908)

Natal wrasse


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








53% of NL



Egg: The oil globule is clear to light amber. Lime green/yellow pigment develops in 2 patches on the embryo at anus and midtail (A). Dense black pigment on the embryo is also mainly at the anus and midtail, and there are a few dots on the oil globule. Incubation is about 35 hours.

Larva: The blotchy yellow pigment along the body, distinguishes this larva (B & C). Size, and the clear yolk, separate it from the striped grunt (EIIIB3). The finfold edges are smooth. Yellow pigment persists to day 4 (D).  B: NH, C: 2 days, D: 4 days (22°C).

All attempts to rear this egg were unsuccessful. Five larvae hatched from this egg, have been sequenced (BOLD), and match 2 sequences of the wrasse Anchichoerops natalensis, a curious species which is endemic to the South African east coast (Randall, 1986).

The egg was found off Park Rynie from mid-winter to early summer (blue graph). In the DHM samples, the egg was only seen twice, in July and November. At Park Rynie, the egg has been more frequently collected in recent years (white graph). In the Park Rynie linked samples, the eggs were less common offshore (42%) than inshore (box below), suggesting spawning takes place mainly inside the 30m contour. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples.

Linked samples









Although of reasonable size from an angling perspective, this fish is not vulnerable to current angling pressure as it is rarely caught on baited hooks. It is also protected, by legislation, from spear fishermen.