Malacanthidae: L III C4

Malacanthus brevirostris Guichenot, 1848

Stripetail tilefish



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








33% of NL



Egg: When seen early, only black pigment is visible, dorsal on the embryo and ventral on the oil globule, and the perivitelline space may be 25% of egg diameter. The oil globule is clear. Pale yellow pigment develops on the late embryo (A). There is no yellow pigment on the yolk surface. Incubation is about 30 hours.

Larva: The pattern of bright yellow pigment, with the isolated yellow mid-tail patch extending into the finfolds, the moderately elongate body, short gut and high myomere count, are distinctive in the 1-day larva (B). Note also the black pigment in patches dorsally on the notochord above and posterior to the gut .The larva has an unusual finfold edge, with a distinct border, within which some small spicules are buried (C). The gut shortens as the yolk is consumed (D).  B: 1 day, C: 2 days, D: 4 days (24°C).

The short gut, elevated myomere count, unusual finfold edge and yellow pigment pattern, suggested this larva might be a Parapercis. Two larvae, from eggs collected collected in October 2008 and March 2012 respectively, have been barcoded. They match adults collected locally and in southern Mozambique (BOLD). I saw a pair at their burrow in 38m water depth off Scottburgh in April 2009.

The few collections made of this egg point to a winter/spring spawning season (blue graph). It was not seen in the DHM samples. In the linked samples off Park Rynie, 20 out of 23 eggs were in offshore samples.