Serranidae: K III C1

Pseudanthias gibbosus (Klunzinger, 1884) & P. squamipinnis (Peters, 1855)

Redstripe goldie and Sea goldie


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








52% of NL



Egg: These eggs are among the smallest encountered. They are very similar to KIIIB7 & KIIIB8, but I usually separate them from those two, on a white background, by larger and less numerous black pigment spots along the body in this species (A). This is however relative and I have always found it necessary to hatch some eggs to confirm identification. Incubation is about 24 hours. 

Larva: The stocky build, and triangle of black dots at, and posterior to the anus, in the 2-day larva, stand out in the identification of this species (D & D1). By day 4, the conspicuous band of white and black pigment running vertically through the mid-body, is also distinctive (E). C: 1 day, D: 2 days, E: 4 days (23-24°C).

Ikeda & Mito (1988) illustrate the egg and early larva of P. squamipinnis, with the triangle of black dots clearly identifiable, on their 1.7mm TL larva. Based on this and the wide distribution of P. squamipinnis in the Park Rynie area, I assumed this would be their egg. But twenty-six larvae have been sequenced, of which 25 matched 4 adult Pseudanthias gibbosus collected off Park Rynie, while only 1 from Park Rynie, has matched P. squamipinnis (BOLD).

The presence of these eggs in the DHM samples indicates that eggs of the two species are difficult to separate, since it is very unlikely P. gibbosus eggs would be found there. P. gibbosus is not seen on reefs inside the 40m contour, so their eggs would be rare in DHM samples, while P. squamipinnis is commonly seen while diving among the concrete blocks of both the North and South Piers of Durban's harbour mouth. Careful documentation of pigment patterns in the larvae sent for barcoding, may enable separation of the two species.



Linked samples Offshore Inshore
Eggs 714 1071
Hits 183 177

This was a common egg off Park Rynie, with spawning all year round, though peaking in winter and spring (blue graph). It was also common in the DHM samples, with a similar spread throughout the year (green graph). Off Park Rynie, other species of anthiid occur, including Pseudanthias connelli, Nemanthias carberryi, Plectranthias longimanus and Pseudanthias cooperi, which might have eggs and larvae similar to P. fasciatus and P. squamipinnis. This is however, not the case at Durban harbour mouth, where P. squamipinnis is the only anthiid found in breeding groups. The occurrence of eggs at Park Rynie, through the 25 years of sampling, has remained fairly steady (white graph). The Park Rynie linked samples showed more of these eggs inshore (60%), which is surprising, since P. fasciatus is only seen in depths below 40m. P. squamipinnis is however, common on the Aliwal Shoal, which lies 4-5km offshore, indicating P. squamipinnis eggs are more common than the barcode ratio would suggests. P. squamipinnis is the only anthiine that is seen in breeding groups on the inshore reefs of the Park Rynie area (personal observation). See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples.