Sparidae: L III D5

Chrysoblephus puniceus (Gilchrist & Thompson, 1908).



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








40% of NL



Egg: This egg, when fresh, has a clear oil globule. The partly incubated egg has four patches of yellow pigment on the embryo, namely the back edge of the eye sockets, dorsally on the notochord in mid-trunk, a couple at mid-body and a cluster at mid-tail. There are usually a couple of spots on the nose as well (A). Incubation is about 30 hours. The dated images are from batches which barcoded as C. puniceus.

Larva: The NH larva (B & B1) has yellow pigment in 5 patches including the nose. This is retained at day 2 (C), but by day 4, has completely disappeared, except for patches around the eyes and gut. (D). Black pigment appears in small patches over the gut, and at the tip of the anus, while there is an almost continuous line ventrally along the notochord (D). B: NH, C: 2 days, D: 4 days, (23°C).

These eggs arose from induced spawning by Dr Pat Garrett at the Oceanographic Research Institute in Durban. I was unable to attempt rearing the larvae, as only a few eggs were available to me. Attempts to rear the artificially spawned eggs at ORI were also unsuccessful (PA Garratt pers. comm.). The eggs are difficult to distinguish from eggs of Cheimerius nufar (LIIID7) and Pagellus natalensis (LIIIC5), and possibly other sparids. While rearing attempts with similar eggs collected at sea, have only yielded Pagellus, this might be because C. puniceus is difficult to rear, as noted above. Garratt (1985) reported both Chrysoblephus  puniceus and Cheimerius  nufar adults in spawning condition in the Park Rynie area (see also comments under LIIIC5, LIIID6 and LIIID7). DNA barcoding is an efficient tool to help separate eggs of these difficult species, and the collection of larval sequences is continuing. Of approximately 240 larvae barcoded from sparid eggs of about the right size (LIIIC1, C1B, C5, D5), only 18 have barcoded as C. puniceus, all from batches barcoded since October 2009 (BOLD).