Ophidiidae: L III A1

Hoplobrotula gnathopus Regan, 1921

False kingklip

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


960 - 1010






43% of NL


Egg: The size of this egg, along with its burnt amber oil globule, rough yolk surface and pink sheen to the clorion, separate it from all except LIIA9 in my Park Rynie samples. According to my notes the roughness of the yolk surface made it difficult to decide whether the yolk was segmented. The yellow and black chromatophore pattern of the developed larva within the egg, including splashy black chromatophores on the yolk surface near the oil globule, can be seen (A2 & A3).

Larva: The striking chromatophore patterns of the 2-day (C) and 4-day (D) larvae are distinct. Note also the rough finfold, serrated finfold edge and high myomere count (C1), as well as brown pigment along the ventral edge below the still present oil globule (D). The position of the anus is arrowed.

This egg has been recorded on only 3 occasions, in January 2005, January 2013 and February 2015. The two larvae from January 2013 yielded matching barcodes, and matched 6 locally collected adult Hoplobrotula gnathopus (BOLD). The egg and larva are strikingly different to those of Brotula multibarbata and 4 other unknown species with similar looking eggs, lumped under that code (KIIIA6), which cluster together in my barcode dendrogram. Nevertheless, they cluster with other brotulids, such as Selacophidium and Neobythites in my barcode dendrogram (BOLD), suggesting the identification is correct.