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Keywords:

  • aquaculture;
  • cleaner fish;
  • egg staging;
  • hatch times;
  • labridae

Eight primary embryonic developmental stages were assigned to eggs of ballan wrasse Labrus bergylta using key morphological features following standardized nomenclature: Ia, Ib, II, III, IV, V, VI and VI+, reared from single family clutches under comparable environmental conditions in Ireland and Norway. Development in L. bergylta is typical of demersal marine finfish species with a short egg stage. Hatching occurred c. 123 h post-fertilization (hpf) equivalent to 62·5 degree days at 12·2 ± 1·10° C (mean ±s.d.), after which the larvae swam intermittently near the surface of the water column.