Cirrhitidae: K III B2

Cyprinocirrhites polyactis (Bleeker, 1875)

Swallowtail hawkfish


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






Moderate to narrow


50-54% of NL



Egg: It is curious how many of the eggs in this KIII group have a slightly widened PVS, and oval oil globule; this is another of them. At an advanced development stage, this egg can be separated by the wide red/black pigment in a dark band on the embryo, except from LIIIF3, in which the pigment is more intense. The oil globule, which may be round or oblong, and clear to light amber, is also darkened by black pigment. Incubation is 30-35 hours.

Larva: The dark band of pigment down the ventral edge of the notochord, and moderately long gut (B & C), identify this larva. The finfolds are clear and slightly rough (goose pimpled). At 4 days, the dark line of pigment has become darker (D). B: 2 days, C: 3 days, D: 4 days, (22°C).

Attempts to rear this egg were unsuccessful. Six larval DNA sequences are available, which match 2 adult C. polyactis collected locally. Two of these larvae were barcoded under the code KIIIB2A, but with a note that the oil globule was clear, when usually in this latter species it is bright amber. Note also that the date was erroneously put as 20/2/2010Oi (BOLD), when it should have been 22/2/2010Oi.

An egg collected in August 2007 yielded a match with the wrasse Anampses lineatus. Notes at the time of collection indicated the larva was not as darkly pigmented ventrally along the length of the notochord, and probably should have been assigned to KIIIB8. Another egg, collected in May 2010, matched the wrasse Bodianus trilineatus, while a third, collected in March 2011, barcoded as Bodianus bilunulatus. Clearly attention must be paid to pigment density in the 3-4 day larvae to separate this hawkfish egg from wrasse.

This egg was seen throughout the year off Park Rynie (blue graph). It was not seen in the DHM samples. At Park Rynie, the egg has shown a variable presence, after being virtually absent in the first 4 years (white graph). In the Park Rynie linked samples, the eggs were fairly evenly distributed inshore (49%) and offshore, indicating spawning around the 30m contour. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples.

Linked samples