Aulostomidae: L II A3

Aulostomus chinensis (Linnaeus, 1766)



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: This egg was often seen fresh, but the egg takes 2 days to hatch, so this does not necessarily indicate early morning spawning. The developing embryo develops a line each, of black and yellow pigment down its length (A), which intensify as development progresses. The oil globule is clear and usually has no pigment spots associated with it. Incubation is about 50 hours.

Larva: The early larva (C) has yellow pigment ventrally along the entire length of the notochord, and extending forward dorsally from the notochord tip.  C: 2 days, D: 3 days, E: 6 days (25°C).

Shao et al (2001, pg 32) show what appears to be this larva, as Chirocentrus dorab, but both their Plates A & B reveal yellow pigment, which is not a common feature in early larval clupeiforms. I believe their larva is A. chinensis. Several attempts at rearing, were unsuccessful.  Six hatched larvae have been barcoded (1 under the wrong egg code H1A3; an obvious error due to my habit of confusing flutes and trumpets!), and match 3 adults collected locally (BOLD). Incidentally, one of the adults was the bright yellow variety, and it matched two of the brown colour variation.


Linked samples Offshore Inshore
Eggs 118 82
Hits 50 42

This species is quite common, and predominantly a summer spawner, off Park Rynie (blue graph). The egg was seen on just 4 occasions in the DHM samples (green graph). This egg has become more common off Park Rynie in recent years(white graph). The Park Rynie linked samples had slightly more eggs in offshore samples (59%), but the low percentage indicates spawning on shallow reefs around the 30m contour. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples