Sparidae: L III B9

Sarpa salpa (Linnaeus, 1758)

Karanteen or strepie


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








38% of NL



Egg: When fresh this egg has a pale yellow hue, and a pale to bright yellow-amber oil globule. At this stage it is most easily confused with LIIIA4. Fine yellow dots cover the embryo, with stellate black dots dorsally. The oil globule has fine stellate black pigment spots ventrally. As the yellow pigment on the larva intensifies, it becomes more lime-green (B). Both fresh and advanced eggs are seen indicating evening and morning spawning. Incubation is 35-40 hours.

Larva: The lime-green pigment of the early larva (C), quickly changes to yellow (D & E), with some variation in the zone covered by yellow in the 4-day larva (E). In reared larvae, the 13-day larva was preflexion, but at 18 days was in the final stage of flexion (G). C: NH, D: 1 day, E: 4 days, F: 13 days, G: 18 days, H: 23 days, I: 29 days, J: 44 days, K: 58 days (22-23°C).

On 5 August 2004, a shoal of 27-29mm SL S. salpa juveniles was seen on the surface about 4km offshore at Park Rynie. Some were collected, and material was sent for DNA barcoding, confirming the identification. Shoaling at the surface, inshore of the Agulhas Current, might be a deliberate strategy, to move into eastern Cape waters, since the strong north-east winds of August and September would aid southern transport. See Introductory Notes: Section 5, for further discussion on movement of juveniles to their nursery grounds.

This species proved easy to rear, aided by good batches of eggs. Six larvae from this egg have been sequenced, and they match 5 locally collected adult sequences (BOLD).


This was the 17th most common egg off Park Rynie. Winter was the main spawning season (blue graph). The graph lacks a normal curve of spawning activity, probably because the first eggs announce the arrival of shoals into Park Rynie waters from the eastern Cape (see also sardine FIIA1). The egg was seen on 3 occasions in the DHM samples (green graph). Annual abundance of the eggs in Park Rynie plankton samples has remained fairly steady (white graph). The Park Rynie linked samples showed a large majority of the eggs inshore (86%),

Linked samples Offshore Inshore
Eggs 907 5531
Hits 41 184

consistent with this fish’s intertidal and shallow subtidal seaweed grazing preference. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples.