Creediidae: M III A4



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







bow & stern

52% of NL



Egg: This unique egg, with two bright golden amber oil globules, and pale yellow-white pigmented embryo, is unmistakable (A). Freshly spawned eggs have the oil globules scattered, but were only seen on occasions when the inshore sample was collected late in the afternoon. Incubation is 30-35 hours.

Larva: The 1-day larva is elongate, with a moderately long gut and prominent pale yellow pigment patches on the finfold edge and notochord (B). By day 4 the yellow pigment is confined to and below the notochord, the latter in a series of 8 patches, with just a trace on the finfold edges posteriorly (D). B: 1 day, C: 3 days, D: 4 days (24°C).


Attempts to rear this egg were unsuccessful. Ten larvae have been barcoded, but they do not match the barcodes of 2 adult Limnichthys nitidus, nor that of Apodocreedia vanderhorsti, the only two adult creediid species from South Africa, currently in BOLD. For the former, this is not surprising, because Limnichthys has <50 myomeres (Leis & Rennis 1983). They also do not match the sequence of 5 Trichonotus marleyi, collected locally, and do not match or associate with the barcode of an ammodytid, another group with a high vertebral count. Presently the only other creediid candidate known from our waters is Chalixodytes chameleontoculis; otherwise it is a new species or locality record.

Due to their nearshore distribution, and all year spawning pattern, these eggs are a useful indicator of inshore water. Like a biological driftcard, their appearance in offshore samples indicates that inshore surface waters had been driven offshore in the previous 24 hours (see also FIIA9). Most sampling is done between 11am and 2pm, and these eggs always contain a well developed larva, when processed the same evening. Occasional sampling between 3 and 4pm in winter, has yielded fresh eggs with the oil globules in a central cluster or spread in a ring around the edge of the yolk.

Since adding the barcode of adult Apodocreedia vanderhorsti to my tree (December 2015), all 3 species (the third being thisas yet unidentified egg) have clustered together in my updated barcode tree, confirming that it is a creediid (January 2016 update).


Linked samples Offshore Inshore
Eggs 68 331
Hits 40 187

This species spawns all year round, but the eggs are never seen in big numbers (blue graph). Apart from the years 2003 and 2004, the eggs have remained fairly constant at Park Rynie over the study period (white graph). They were not seen in the first three years of the study, mainly because regular nearshore sampling was only begun in early 1994 (see Section 7.3 of the Introductory Notes). The egg was only seen once in the DHM samples, which is puzzling, since the Park Rynie linked samples had the overwhelming majority of these eggs inshore (82%). Perhaps the species prefers an exposed coastal habitat, as opposed to the protected nature of the Durban Harbour mouth. See Section 7.3 and Table 1 of the Introductory Notes, for more information on the linked samples