Little is known about the life history of the species of Gaidropsaurus Rafinesque, 1810. Two species of this genus, G. mediterraneus (Linnaeus, 1758) and G. biscayensis (Collett, 1890) = Antonogadus megalokynodon Kolombotovic, 1894 occur in the Sea of Marmara. The egg, larvae and pelagic juveniles of G. biscayensis have never been described. Egg, prelarval and early postlarval stages attributed to G. mediterraneus have been described and illustrated by many workers, but there has been confusion in their identifications.
Three species of Gaidropsaurus, G. mediterraneus, G. biscayensis and G. vulgaris (Cloquet, 1824) are recorded from the Mediterranean. Raffaele (1888) made artificial fertilizations of eggs of Naples specimens that he identified as Motella tricirrata Nilsson, 1832 = G. vulgaris. Holt (1899) found some eggs which are similar to those described and figured by Raffaele in the plankton off Marseille, but he considered it impossible to distinguish whether the larvae which hatched out from those eggs were Motella tricirrata i.e. G. vulgaris or Motella mediterranea Lütken, 1882 i.e. G. mediterraneus. Ehrenbaum (1905–9) who re-examined the various records of eggs and larval stages of Gaidropsaurus believes that those figured by RafFaele (1888) and Holt (1899) as well as the larvae referred to Phycis Artedi, 1792 and a pleuronectid by Emery (1886) and Marion (1894) respectively probably belong to Onos (Gaidropsaurus) mediterraneus. Aboussouan (1964) who worked on ichthyoplankton of the Gulf of Marseille also attributed some eggs and larvae to G. mediterraneus and figured one of those postlarvae which is 2·65 mm in standard length.
The eggs and prelarval stage of G. mediterraneus have more precisely been described and illustrated by Soviet investigators (Vodyanitskii & Kazanova, 1954; Duka, 1958; Dekhnik, 1973)> from the Black Sea.