FAMILY: CYCLOPTERIDAE

1. GOBIESOX MARMORATUS. Jen.

PLATE XXVII. FIG. 1

G. dorso el lateribus pallidč fuscus, nigro reticulatis et fasciatis: dentibus anterioribus majoribus, in maxilla superiore subconicis, in inferiore incisivis: operculo posticč mucrone obtuso armato: membranâ branchiali spinâ gracili, subduplici (praeter radios solitos), instructâ, magnâ ex parte celatâ, apice exserto: pinnâ dorsali tredecim-radiatâ

B. 6; D. 13; A. 11; C. 14 vel 15; P. 20 vel 21

Long. unc. 2. lin. 7

Form. Head very large, broad and much depressed, with the snout rounded nearly in an exact semicircle. Body compressed behind, and suddenly tapering behind the pectorals. The length and breadth of the head are equal, each being one-third of the entire length, excluding caudal. Gape wide, reaching nearly to beneath the anterior angle of the eye. Teeth strong, and somewhat crowded in front; in the upper jaw bluntly conical, or slightly curved, but of irregular size, with minuter ones behind; very small at the sides of the jaw, and apparently here but in a single row: below, the six middle teeth are incisor-like, and project forwards; on each side of these are two or three similar to those in front of a diameter apart.

Gill-opening wide, the membrane free all round, with six rays. Opercle terminating behind in a blunt point: there is also a kind of double spine concealed in the thickness of the branchial membrane, in front of the ordinary branchial rays, the extreme end of one portion of which projects a little beyond the margin.

The dorsal commences a little beyond the middle of the entire length, and leaves a space between it and the caudal; the rays nearly equal, except the first, which is short. The anal begins under the fourth or fifth dorsal ray, and extends a trifle further than that fin. Caudal slightly rounded.

Colour. (In spirits.) Back and sides light brown, reticulated with black: the reticulations have a tendency to form three or four broad fasciae across the back. Under parts yellowish.

Habitat, Archipelago of Chiloe.

This and the following species appear to belong to the genus Gobiesox of Cuvier's Regne Animal , and are probably new. Two specimens of the one above described were found by Mr. Darwin under stones off the island of Lemuy, in the Archipelago of Chiloe.


 

2. GOBIESOX POECILOPHTHALMOS. Jen.

PLATE XXVII. FIG. 2

G. fuscescenti-albidus immaculatus: dentibus anterioribus majoribus, supra et subtus incisivis: operculo posticč spinâ acutâ armato; membranâ operculari margine, supra spinam, cirris paucis filamentosis fimbriato; membranâ branchiali spinâ nullâ: pinnis dorsali et anali septem-radiatis

B. 6; D. 7; A. 7; C. 12; P. 23

Long. unc. 1. lin. 10

Form. General form the same as that of the last species, including the proportion of head to body. Snout equally rounded. Teeth on the whole similar, but the upper ones in front, as well as the lower, incisor-like. Eyes rather larger, closer together, less than a diameter apart. Differs essentially from the G. marmoratus in the form of the opercular spine, which is much sharper, as well as somewhat longer and slenderer; also in having no spine concealed in the branchial membrane: the lower part of the opercular membrane, just above the spine, is fringed with a few thread-like filaments. The number of branchial rays is the same.

The dorsal and anal are both shorter, and appear to have only seven rays each: the anal reaches a little nearer the caudal. The pectorals on the contrary have rather more rays.

Colour. (In spirits.) Every where of a uniform very pale brown, or brownish white, without any markings whatever. The eyes were probably very brilliant in the living fish, the irides still showing traces of what seems to have been blue and golden pink.

Habitat, Galapagos Archipelago.

A single individual of this species was obtained by Mr. Darwin in tidal pools at Chatham Island, in the Galapagos Archipelago.

 

FAMILY: ECHENEIDIDAE

ECHENEIS REMORA. Linn.

Mr. Darwin took a small specimen of this fish from off a shark in the Atlantic Ocean, near St. Paul's Rocks. It is not four inches long. It has eighteen pairs of laminć on the head; and a rough disk on the middle of the tongue:13 caudal lunate.

13 I notice this circumstance, because Mr. Lowe, in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society (1839, p. 89), has briefly described two species of this fish, which he calls E. remora and E. pallida respectively, the former having the tongue smooth, and the latter rough in the middle, besides other differences.
The above specimen obtained by Mr. Mr. Darwin, as well as two others in the Museum of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, have the tongue rough; though in their other characters, especially colour, they would seem to be Mr. Lowe's Remora. Cuvier, in his Regne Animal, appears to consider the rough tongue as characteristic of the whole genus

 

FAMILY: ANGUILLIDAE

ANGUILLA AUSTRALIS. Richards.

Anguilla australis, Richardson, Proceed. of Zool. Soc., 1841, p. 22.

Form. Very similar to the A. latirostris , Yarr., but the upper jaw rather shorter and broader, making the gape, which reaches to a vertical line from the posterior part of the orbit, wider. Teeth rather stronger. Dorsal commencing considerably beyond the first third, and not much in advance of the middle point, of the entire length; much less elevated than in the A. latirostris, its height scarcely exceeding one-fifth of the depth, which last is about one-seventeenth of the entire length. Vent a little posterior to the commencement of the dorsal.

The distance from the end of the snout to the insertion of the pectorals is rather less than one-eighth of the entire length: the form of the pectorals is lanceolate. The tail is rounded, much as in the A. latirostris.

Inches Lines
Length (entire) 17 3
From end of snout to ommencement of dorsal 7 6
From the same to insertion of pectoral 2 2
From the same to vent 7 9

Colour. (In spirits.) Appears similar to that of the common eel.

Habitat, New Zealand.

The above eel was procured by Mr. Darwin in fresh water in the month of December, in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. It so nearly accords with the A. australis of Dr. Richardson from Van Dieman's Land, that I can hardly suppose it to be a distinct species. The vent, however, would seem to be a trifle backwarder, and the body deeper in proportion to its length. Without seeing more specimens, it is impossible to say what importance is to be attached to these points of discrepancy.

CONGER PUNCTUS. Jen.

C. lateribus fasciis transversis fuscencenti-rubris, interstitiis angustis griseis: rostro brevi, obtuso; maxillis subaequalibus: pinnâ dorsali initium supra pectoralem capienti: cute corporis puncturis parvis creberrimč aggregatis impressâ

Form. Body much compressed, except at the anterior extremity. Depth less than one-eleventh of the entire length. Head contained about seven and a half times in the same. Snout short and rounded. Jaws nearly equal, the upper scarcely longer than the lower. Gape scarcely reaching beyond a vertical from the anterior part of the eye. Teeth velutine. A row of very conspicuous pores round the edges of both jaws. The whole body, but not the head, thickly studded all over with small pores, much crowded, and appearing like pin-holes.

The pectorals are rather more than half the length of the head. The dorsal commences immediately above them, and has a moderate elevation of about one-third of the depth. The vent is a little posterior to the termination of the first third of the length, and the anal is immediately behind it. The dorsal and anal unite to form a moderately pointed caudal.

Length 3 inc. 3 lines

Colour. (In spirits.) Sides very regularly banded with fourteen or fifteen transverse reddish brown fascić: the fasciae extend on to the dorsal fin, and are much broader than the intervening spaces. All the under part of the head, belly as far as the vent, an irregular patch on the cheeks, and the spaces between the bands on the sides, yellowish.

Habitat, Tierra del Fuego.

This appears to be a new species. The individual described above is quite small, and stated in Mr. Darwin's notes to be the young of another and larger specimen which he also captured, but of which he does not mention the exact size, and which unfortunately does not appear in his collection. He has, however, mentioned the colours, which appear similar to those given above, and are as follows: ‘Sides with transverse bars of chocolate and brownish-red, separated by narrow grey spaces.’ Whether the form and proportions of the adult agree exactly with those of the young as above detailed must be left for future observers to determine. The colours, however, appear well to characterize the species, aided by the minute punctures with which the whole body is covered.

This species was taken by Mr. Darwin at the roots of focus, at the east entrance of Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego. The larger specimen is said to have been very active.

 

1. MURAENA LENTIGINOSA. Jen.

M. purpurascenti-fusca; maculis circularibus, parvis, flavis: capite et rostro valde compressis; fronte declivi: maxillis subelongatis, angustis, aequalibus, acutis; dentibus acutis, in maxillâ superiore anticis uni-lateralibus bi-seriatis; in inferiore anticis bi-lateralibus uni-seriatis; in vomere uni-seriatis; anticis supra subtusque, lateralibus secundariis supra, et vomerinis, fortibus: pinnâ dorsali anticč obsoletâ

Long. unc. 20. lin. 6

Form. Very much compressed about the head and jaws. Body tapering posteriorly; the depth in the middle equalling about one-thirteenth of the entire length. Head, measured to the branchial orifice, about one-seventh. Profile falling obliquely in a straight line from the nape to the extremity of the snout. Jaws very narrow, rather lengthened and sharp-pointed, equal. Gape deeply cleft, reaching as far back behind the eyes as it advances before them. Teeth compressed at the sides, very sharp, slightly hooked and pointing backwards; above, in a single row in front, in two rows at the sides; below, in two rows in front, and in a single row at the sides; in each case, however, the secondary row is very imperfect, some of them appearing to have been lost; also a row down the vomer, but interrupted in the middle of the series: the front teeth above and below, and the secondary ones at the sides of the upper jaw, are much stronger than the others; but the first three on the vomer, being those anterior to the blank space, are perhaps longer and more developed than any in the jaws. Two tubular orifices above the eyes, and two at the extremity of the snout. Eyes distant from the end of the snout twice their own diameter. Branchial orifice of the same size as the eyes. Three or four large pores arranged in a line along the edge of the upper jaw, but none apparent on the lower.

Dorsal fin thick and fleshy, and not very distinguishable from the body, excepting posteriorly, so that its exact point of commencement cannot be fixed with precision. Vent a trifle in advance of the middle point of the entire length. Anal fin still less distinguishable than the dorsal.

Colour. ‘Fine dark purplish brown, with yellow circular spots.’ - D. The spots are mostly small, and many of them not bigger than large pins' heads. They are smaller and more crowded about the head than elsewhere, giving a freckled appearance.

A second specimen is smaller than the above, measuring thirteen inches and a half in length. This specimen has the teeth more perfect. In the upper jaw, there is first an outer row reaching all round, in which the teeth are mostly small and regular, but towards the front mixed with some much longer ones; behind this, about the middle of the sides, is a short secondary row consisting of five or six teeth as long as those in front in the first row: in the lower jaw, the secondary row consists likewise only of four or five long teeth, but here they are placed in front instead of at the sides. Mr. Darwin's notes respecting the colours of this smaller specimen are as follows: ‘Dark reddish-purple brown, with pale, or whitish-brown spots: eyes bluish.’

Habitat, Galapagos Archipelago.

The larger of the two specimens above described was taken by Mr. Darwin at Charles Island, the smaller on en tidal pools at Chatham Island, in the Galapagos Archipelago. It appears to be undescribed species, though bearing much similarity to the M. meleagris of Shaw.

 

2. MURAENA OCELLATA

Gymnothorax ocellatus, Spix et Agass., Pisces Brazil , p. 91, tab. 50b.

Form. Head but moderately compressed. Snout rather short and blunt. Jaws equal. Gape reaching a little beyond the posterior part of the orbit. Teeth apparently in only a single row above and below, very strong and sharp at the extremity of the jaws: none at the anterior part of the vomer, but a few very short ones not easily seen at the back part of the median line of the palate. Two tubular orifices at the extremity of the snout, but above the eyes only two simple pores not prolonged in tubes. Eyes rather large, much exceeding in size the branchial orifice; scarcely more than one diameter between them and the end of the snout. Two or three large pores along the edges of both jaws. Dorsal very distinct, commencing above the branchial orifice. Vent a little before the middle. Tail gradually tapering to a rather fine point.

Length 12 inc. 9 lines

Colour. (In spirits.) Head and trunk brown, with round whitish spots. Dorsal and anal spotted with black and white, the black spots occupying the edge of the fin. Extremity of the tail imperfectly banded with white and dusky brown. Belly pale.

Habitat, Rio de Janeiro.

This elegant and well-marked species, first discovered by Spix on the Brazilian coast, was taken by Mr. Darwin in the harbour of Rio de Janeiro.

 

3. MURAENA ____?

Form. Head moderately compressed, rising considerably at the nape. Body slender, somewhat ensiform behind, and tapering towards the tail. Snout of moderate length. Jaws equal, or the upper one perhaps a very little longer than the lower. Gape reaching as far behind the eye, as it advances before it. Teeth partially in two rows above, in one below; sharp and strong at the extremity of the jaws, and on the anterior part of the vomer. Two tubular orifices at the extremity of the snout, but only simple pores above the eyes. Three or four large pores along the edges of the upper and underjaws. Eyes distant one diameter and a half from the end of the snout. Dorsal distinct, commencing almost on the occiput, and in advance of the branchial orifice. Vent before the middle. Anal commencing a little behind it, and, like the dorsal, distinct, but rather less so.

Inches Lines
Length 10 0
Depth, fins not included 0 6
From end of snout to branchial orifice 1 4
From the same to vent 4 3

Colour. (In spirits.) Rather dark brown, nearly uniform, but here and there with lighter mottlings. The lower jaw appears to have had a row of whitish spots encircling the pores.

The species of Muraena above described was taken by Mr. Darwin at Porto Praya, Cape Verde Islands. The individual being small, and possibly not having attained its permanent characters, I have forborne giving it any name, though I have not been able to identify it in the works of authors.

 

4. MURAENA ____?

Form. Snout rather compressed before the eyes, not very long, and slightly obtuse. Upper jaw a little in advance of the lower. The gape extends behind the eyes, but the posterior portion is not equal to the anterior. The teeth, tubular orifices, and pores, are very much the same as in the species last noticed. Dorsal very distinct, commencing in advance of the branchial orifice. Anal not so distinct as the dorsal.

Length 5 inc. 6 lin.

Colour. Brown, but with some lighter specks and mottlings, more particularly on the lower jaw and on the fins.

Taken by Mr. Darwin at Tahiti. Probably a new species, but, as in the last case, the specimen is young and not easily determinable.

 

LOPHOBRANCHII

FAMILY: SYNGNATHIDAE

1. SYNGNATHUS ACICULARIS. Jen.

PLATE XXVII. FIG. 3

S. flavo-brunneus: corpore gracillimo, compresso, hetagono; caudâ quadrangulâ: vertice plano; cristâ occipitali parum conspicuâ; rostro longo, compresso, verticaliter capite angustiore, margine superiore acuto prope recto; pinnâ dorsali totâ multum ante medium longitudinis sitâ; pinnis pectoralibus parvis, anali minutissimâ, caudali distinctâ

Long. unc. 5. lin. 10

Form. Very similar to the S. acus, but the body rather more compressed. The angles are the same, and the middle lateral ridges of the trunk rise upwards in a similar manner to terminate behind the dorsal fin. There are about seventy transverse shields or plates in the whole length, eighteen of which lie between the gills and the vent. Head much compressed about the gills, contained with the snout about eight and a half times in the entire length. Crown nearly flat, with very little of an occipital ridge; profile falling obliquely, but not much out of a straight line; between the eyes a slight hollow. Snout elongated, a trifle more than half the entire length of the head, compressed, the upper edge sharp and nearly horizontal in front of the nostrils, vertically much narrower than the head.

The dorsal commences at one-third of the entire length, and occupies a space about one-tenth of the same, terminating before the middle: the number of rays is about forty or more. Vent about underneath the seventh dorsal ray. Anal extremely minute, of only one or two rays. Pectorals very small. Caudal distinct, much as in S. acus.

Colour. (In spirits.) Of a nearly uniform yellowish brown, paler underneath.

Habitat, Valparaiso.

This species, taken by Mr. Darwin at Valparaiso, would seem to represent in that quarter of the globe the S. acus of the European seas, which, on the whole, it much resembles, though there are several slight differences on a close comparison. It is a female specimen, being without the abdominal pouch, and is probably not full-sized. The dorsal fin being a little injured, and the rays very delicate as well as close-set, it is hardly possible to tell the exact number. The anal exists, but it is so extremely minute that it might easily be overlooked.

 

2. SYNGNATHUS CONSPICILLATUS. Jen.

PLATE XXVII. FIG. 4

S. griseus, fasciis transversis fuscis; genis albicantibus, vittis duâbus angustis longitudinalibus nigro-fuscis: corpore crassiore, subcylindrico, hexagono; caudâ quadrangulâ: vertice elevato; cristis occipitali et nuchali distinctis: oculis magnis prominulis: fronte declivi, in descensu sinuato: rostro brevi, gracillimo, subcylindrico: pinnâ dorsali paulo ante medium longitudinis desinenti: ano infra radium primum dorsalem sito: pinnis pectoralibus parvis, anali minutissimâ; caudali distinctâ

D. 31; A. 3?; C. 10; P. 14

Long. unc. 4. lin. 7

Form. Body rather thick and somewhat cylindrical; the greatest depth and thickness nearly equal, the former being about one-twenty-seventh of the entire length. From the head to the vent hexagonal, the middle lateral ridges terminating abruptly, when opposite the commencement of the dorsal fin, without inclining either upwards or downwards. Fifteen transverse plates between the gills and the dorsal fin: only fifty-four in all, the tail not tapering so much as in many other species. Head much pinched in at the gills, but rather full and protuberant about the cheeks: its length ten and a half times in the entire length. Crown high and convex: a ridge commencing at the occiput passes backward to the nape. Eyes large and full, with somewhat of a spectacled appearance; their diameter equal to the whole depth of that part of the head; the orbits rising in ridges above them, with the intervening space concave. From between the eyes the profile descends in a sinuous curve to the base of the snout, which is short, slender, very narrow, and almost cylindrical. The length of the snout is less than half the entire length of the head; its breadth, vertically, only one-third the depth of the same taken behind the eyes.

The dorsal commences beyond one-third of the entire length, occupies one-ninth of the same, and terminates a little before the middle: nearly even, and rather high, more than equalling the depth of the body underneath. Vent about underneath the first ray, but almost in advance of the dorsal fin altogether. Anal extremely minute. Pectorals very small. Caudal rays distinct.

Colour. Trunk greyish-brown, with deep brown interrupted transverse fasciae. In front of the dorsal, the fascić terminate at the middle lateral ridge, below which the sides are spotted. Dorsal fin also a little spotted. Cheeks whitish, with two very distinct narrow longitudinal vittć extending backwards from the eyes to the posterior part of the opercle.

Habitat, Tahiti.

A well-marked species, and apparently undescribed. The only specimen in the collection is a female, and, like the last, perhaps not full-sized.

 

 

3. SYNGNATHUS CRINITUS. Jen.

PLATE XXVII. FIG. 5

S. griseus; ventre, et maculâ operculari, nigricantibus: corpore crassiore, antice heptagono, postice quadrangulo, angulis acutis: vertice parum elevato; cristis occipitali et nuchali distinctis: rostro brevissimo, subcylindrico, capite angustiore, postice supra carinato, apice subrecurvo: cirris duobus, minutis, filamentosis, palpebralibus: pinnâ dorsali paulo ante medium longitudinis desinente; ano infra initium ejus sito: pinnis pectoralibus et caudali parvis; anali nullâ

Long. unc. 3. lin.5

Form. Body thickish, the greatest depth and thickness nearly equal, the former about one-twenty-fifth of the whole length. From the head to the vent heptangular; tail quadrangular: all the angles sharp and distinctly marked. The middle lateral ridges in the heptangular portion pass downwards at their extremities to terminate at the vent. Sixteen transverse plates before the dorsal: only fifty-two in the whole length. Head short, about one-eleventh of the entire length, not more compressed than the body. Crown not much elevated, but with distinct occipital and nuchal ridges. Orbits rising in ridges above the eyes, the interocular space being hollowed out: also a ridge commencing between the eyes, and passing forwards along the base of the snout, but not reaching to its extremity. Snout itself very short, its length only one-third the entire length of the head, narrower than the head vertically, nearly cylindrical, the tip slightly recurved. A few very short minute filamentous threads scattered about the head, more particularly one over each eye.

Dorsal placed much as in the last species, and terminating a little before the middle; the rays delicate and not easily counted, about twenty. Vent beneath the commencement of the dorsal. No anal distinguishable even under a lens. Pectorals very small. Caudal moderately distinct.

Colour. Grey: a spot on the gill-cover, and the belly, dusky. The carinć which form the edges of the under surface of the body are darker still, and shew a fine dark line on each side extending to the caudal.

Habitat, Bahia Blanca, Northern Patagonia.

Apparently another new species of this genus, taken by Mr. Darwin at Bahia, and, like the last, well-marked; especially by the short filaments above the eyes, which I am not aware occur in any other known species.