Caproidae: L III E4

Antigonia rubescens (Gunther, 1860).



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








56% of NL



Egg: The bright, dark amber oil globule, and clear yolk, separate this egg from all but LIIIE5. The embryo develops dense yellow and black pigment, and some black spots are scattered on the yolk near the head of the embryo. There is usually no pigment spotting on the oil globule. Incubation is 25-30 hours.

Larva: The NH larva (B) has an unmistakable combination of black and pale yellow pigment ventrally on the notochord, extending from behind the eyes, to well beyond the anus, where the yellow pigment almost envelops the notochord. In the 3-day larva this latter has split into a separate short section of pigment dorsally (C). A dorsal view (C1) shows the dark pigment in the notochord, and the overall “gold and brown” appearance of the larva. Plate B1 shows myomeres, the smooth finfold edge, and rough finfold texture.  B: NH, B1: 1 day, C: 3 days, D: 4 days, E: 5 days (24°C).

This species was fairly rare off Park Rynie, and rearing attempts were unsuccessful, despite collecting a batch of about 90 eggs on one occasion. Fiftyone larvae from this egg have been barcoded, and suggest 5 and possibly 6 cryptic species.Twentyfive larval barcodes cluster as 1 species, with no adult matches. A batch of 5 match 5 adults submitted as Antigonia rubescens, but another 2 adults match 11 larval barcodes. Two other batches of 4 and 5 larvae, match no adults, and one adult stands alone. But all cluster together as a group of cryptic species(BOLD). On one occasion, in May 2007, a batch of 14 eggs was split into two groups based on the intensity of colour in the early larva and oil globule. This proved accurate as all those catalogued as 9/5/2007B barcoded as 1 species, while those catalogued as 9/5/2007C split among two species different from B. The group requires closer genetic study.


Linked samples Offshore Inshore
Eggs 177 66
Hits 32 16

This egg was not common off Park Rynie, but was seen through most of the year (blue graph). It was not seen in the DHM samples. Annual catches have been erratic (white graph). Park Rynie linked samples showed slightly more eggs offshore (73%), the same percentage seen for kob, indicating that spawning occurs around the 40m to 50m contours. This is a puzzling result, as this species is not seen in such shallow water off Park Rynie. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples