Soleidae: M II A2A

Aseraggodes heemstrai Gon & Randall 2003 (formerly Parachirus)

Dwarf sole



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








48% of NL

ca 34


Egg: This egg was often mistaken for Sarda orientalis (MIIA2), which also has scattered, light amber oil globules (A, but note that the egg on the left is H IIA3A). Later eggs can be recognised by the white pigment in the embryo’s finfolds (B). Incubation is about 60 hours.

Larva: The 1-day larva has 4 big blotches of white pigment in the finfolds (C), which become more numerous in the postflexion, 17-day juvenile, and persist through to the 30-day juvenile. The left eye moves to the right side between 30 (I) and 45 days (J), but was not documented. C: 1 day, D: 3 days, E: 8 days, F: 13 days, G: 17 days, H: 21 days, I: 30 days, J: 45 days (26°C).


The larva proved easy to rear, despite only small numbers of eggs being obtained at any one time. The illustrated series was from 2 specimens reared from a batch of only 3 eggs. To date, no larval or locally collected adult DNA barcode sequences are available, but an adult was collected at 30m on Roonies reef at Sodwana in November 2013, and tissue has been submitted for barcoding.

The egg was first seen in the DHM samples between 1990 and 1994, when the few eggs collected suggested a summer spawner (green graph). Single eggs have subsequently been seen on only 3 occasions off Park Rynie (blue graph), supporting a summer spawning pattern. Only 1 of the 3 was in an inshore sample, but their frequent collection in the DHM samples indicates spawning in shallow water. Not seen since November 2005.