Veliferidae: M I A1

Metavelifer multiradiatus (Regan, 1907)

Spinyfin velifer



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








43% of NL

ca 40


Egg: This huge egg is bereft of any pigment on the embryo, until just before hatching, when dark pigment patches develop dorsally on the notochord, post-anus (A). Incubation is at least 7 days.

Larva: The early larva has its eyes almost fully pigmented, and large pectoral fins, and several dorsal fin elements, at least 2 of which terminated in a small pigmented bulb(B). Dark pigment patches can be seen dorsally on the notochord, and at the tips of the pectoral fin elements (B). A: 7 days PC, B: NH (8 days PC).


This egg was first seen in a DHM sample in June 1993, probably brought inshore under the influence of the semi-permanent eddy off Durban (Introductory Notes Section 3.4.2) , aided by the long hatch time of this egg. It has subsequently been seen in offshore samples at Park Rynie, on only 7 occasions, all as single eggs. The December 2009 and June 2013 larvae, the latter seen in the last 2 images, have been barcoded, , matching Metavelifer multiradiatus sequences in BOLD, although, based on the barcodes currently in BOLD (2011), M. multiradiatus appears to be a complex of at least 2, possibly 3 species.