FAMILY: MULLIDAE

UPENEUS FLAVOLINEATUS. Cuv. et Val.,

1. Upeneus flavolineatus, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. iii , p. 336.

Form. Considerably elongated. Greatest depth contained five times in the entire length, caudal excluded. Head three and a half times in the same. Dorsal line nearly straight. Profile very convex. Crown between the eyes broad and somewhat depressed, forming a slight hollow.

Eyes large; their diameter more than one-fourth that of the head. Suborbitals marked on their surface near the lower margin with six or eight diverging salient lines, each terminating at bottom in a mucous pore. Teeth forming a narrow velutine band, hardly visible to the naked eye, but sensible to the touch: none on the vomer or palatines. Opercle with one short flat spine projecting beyond the posterior margin rather more than half a line. Barbules teaching to a little beyond the angle of the preopercle. Mucous tubes of the lateral line with five or six branches; the branches not always simple,10 but consisting sometimes of two or three main ones which are subdivided. First dorsal of a triangular form, with the spines rather slender; the first two equalling more than three-fourths of the depth of the body. Space between the dorsals about equalling the length of the first. Second dorsal with the first ray (or spine) scarcely more than half the length of the second, which is longest; the third and succeeding rays gradually decreasing to the last, which is shortest. Length of the second dorsal just equalling its greatest height. Anal answering to this last fin. Caudal deeply forked; the central rays not being one-fourth the length of the outermost ones. Ventrals and pectorals exactly of the same length; both reaching to a vertical line from the extremity of the first dorsal. Vent in a line with the commencement of the second dorsal.

10 As stated by Cuvier and Valenciennes.

D. 7-1/8; A. 1/6; C. .15, etc.; P. 16; V. 1/5

Length 6 inches 9 lines

Colour. ‘Dull silvery, with a yellow stripe on the side.’ - D.

There can be but little doubt of this species being the U. flavolineatus, which appears to have a wide range over the Indian Ocean, and also to occur in the South Pacific. Mr. Darwin's specimen was taken at the Keeling Islands.

 

2. UPENEUS TRIFASCIATUS. Cuv. et Val.

Upeneus trifasciatus, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. iii, p. 344.

Form. General form resembling that of the Mullus surmuletus, but the snout more elongated. Greatest depth contained about four times and a half in the entire length. head exactly one-fourth of the same. Eyes small, distant three diameters from the end of the snout. Suborbitals with a moderate number of pores on their disk, but without any salient lines. Posterior extremity of the maxillary broad. A single row of conical teeth in each jaw, very uniform size, not very large or very close; about twenty-two above and twenty below. Spine of the opercle about a line in length. Barbules reaching to, or a little beyond, the posterior margin of the opercle. Lateral line not much ramified. Height of the first dorsal equalling more than half the depth. Space between the two dorsals equalling one-third the length of the second dorsal.

Both this last fin and the anal terminating in a considerable point behind. Ventrals large, reaching very nearly to the anal.

D. 8-9; A. 7; C. 15, etc.; P. 16; V. 1/5

Length 7 inches 9 lines

Colour. (In spirits.) Dark brownish yellow, with faint indications of three dusky patches or abbreviated transverse fascić, one beneath each dorsal, and the third on each side of the upper part of the tail. Second dorsal and anal crossed by several whitish longitudinal lines; the posterior point of each fin nearly black.

This species was obtained by Mr. Darwin at Tahiti. It is probably the U. trifasciatus of Cuvier and Valenciennes, who received their specimens from the Carolinas and Sandwich Islands. But it does not so well accord with the Mulle multibande of Quoy and Gaimard, which is supposed by the authors of the Histoire des Poissons , to be the same as their species. If the figure in the Zoology of Freycinet's Voyage be correct, the Mulle multibande has the nostrils much smaller, and the spines of the first dorsal much stronger; the ventrals also are relatively much shorter, so as to reach very little more than half way to the anal. Future observation must determine whether the two fish are distinct or not.

3. UPENEUS PRAYENSIS. Cuv. et Val.?

Upeneus prayensis, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. iii , p. 357.

Form. Very much resembling that of the U. trifasciatus , but with the following differences. The eyes rather larger, distance from the end of the snout rather more than two diameters and a half. Suborbitals traversed towards their lower margins by a number of lines, each terminating in a pore, and with their whole disks studded besides with pores without lines: the lower margin itself presents four distinct deeply-cut notches, the first of which receives the end of the maxillary when the mouth is closed. A single row of small conical teeth in each jaw; in addition to which, in the upper, there are some stronger ones in front, exterior to the others, amounting to eight in number, the central pair of which bends inwards or towards each other, and the three on each side, which are the strongest of all, backwards and outwards. No teeth on the vomer or palatines. The posterior extremity of the maxillary is much narrower than in the last species. Spine of the opercle sharp and well developed, about two lines and a quarter in length. Barbules reaching very nearly to the posterior margin of the opercle. Ramifications of the mucous tubes on the lateral line very numerous. Height of the first dorsal equalling rather more than half the depth. Space between the two dorsals equalling half the length of the second dorsal. This last fin pointed behind, as well as the anal, but not so much so as in the U. trifasciatus. Pectorals when laid back reaching to a vertical line from the extremity of the first dorsal. Ventrals reaching a little beyond the pectorals, but falling short of the anal by a space equalling half their own length.

D. 8-9; A. 7; C. 15, etc.; P. 16; V. 1/5

Length 8 inches

Colour. ‘Vermilion, with streaks of iridescent blue.’ - D. In spirits, the colour appears of a uniform dull reddish yellow, without any indication of spots or other markings on the fins or body.

Habitat, Porto Praya, Cape Verde Islands.

I suppose this to be the U. prayensis of Cuvier and Valenciennes, the description of which, so far as given in the Histoire des Poissons, is tolerably applicable. Those authors, however, mention a spot in the middle of each scale of a deeper red than the ground colour, which is not alluded to by Mr. Darwin in his notes, and of which I see no trace on the fish in its present state. On the other hand they are silent with regard to the blue streaks. In some of its characters, especially as regards the teeth, this species seems to approach the U. maculatus; but the colours are different is this last also, which is moreover found on the opposite side of the Atlantic.

FAMILY: TRIGLIDAE

TRIGLA KUMU. Less. et Garn.

Trigla kumu, Less. et Garn., Zoologie de la Coquille, (Poissons) , Pl. 19.
Trigla kumu, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. iv , p. 36

Form. In general appearance very much resembling the T. hirundo , but more elongated. Depth contained about five times and a half in the entire length. Head rather more than four times and a quarter in the same. The obliquity of the profile about the same as that of the T. hirundo, but the concavity of the interocular space less. The granulations on the head not so coarse, or so strongly marked, the lines in which they are arranged being closer and more numerous: those on the suborbitals radiate from a point nearer the extremity of the snout: no crest or ridge at the bottom of the suborbital, and only a very indistinct one at the bottom of the preopercle: as Cuvier has well noted, the grains on the border of the preopercle are divided into little isles, or collected in clusters, by irregular lines which undulate amongst them; and in this specimen, the same character presents itself on the posterior and upper portion of the suborbital: some of the first lines on the opercle are plain, or without granulations. Snout emarginated, with three or four denticulations on each side rather sharper and more developed than in the T. hirundo. Two spines at the anterior angle of the eye; but none at the posterior angle, or on the temples. Suprascapular, opercular, and clavicular spines much as in the T. hirundo. Lateral line and whole body smooth, excepting the dorsal ridges, which are strongly serrated. Dorsal spines as in the T. hirundo; second longest; the first with a series of obsolete granulations on its anterior edge. Pectorals not quite one-third of the entire length: free rays incrassated in the middle, tapering towards the ends, but with the extreme tips slightly dilated.

D. 10-16; A. 16; C. 11, etc.; P. 11, and 3 free; V. 1/5

Length 16 inches 6 lines

Colour. ‘Whole body bright red.’ - D. The pectorals, of which no note was taken in the recent state, appear, in the dried skin, externally, of a dusky colour, approaching to black, with white rays; the lower margin, however, is paler, and was probably originally red like the body: inside, the colour is much the same, but variegated with a few white spots; there are also portions of a paler tint, probably the remains of a fine blue. I see no distinct trace of the large deep black spot, said by Cuvier to occupy the seventh and eighth rays on the posterior face of the fin.

Taken in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. The only respect in which it differs from the description of the T. kumu by Cuvier and Valenciennes, is its having one more spine in the first dorsal.

 

1. PRIONOTUS PUNCTATUS. Cuv. et Val.

Prionotus punctatus, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. iv , p. 68

Form. Well characterized by the form of the snout, which is very obtuse, and as it were truncated, with scarcely any notch in the middle; the margins of the lobes are crenated with minute denticles, immediately beyond which is a small sharp spine directed backwards; further on, almost immediately above the corners of the mouth, is a second similar, somewhat larger spine. There are also some minute spines on the temples, as well as on the ridge of the preopercle, besides the ordinary spines, common to other species, which in this are all well developed and very shard. Dorsal spines smooth, or only the first with a faintly marked line of granulations; third longest. Pectorals long, contained exactly two and a half times in the entire length; when laid back, they reach to within two rays of the extremity of the second dorsal. Free rays rather slender and tapering, with the extreme tips pointed; not above half the length of the pectorals. Ventrals rather longer than the free rays.

D. 10-12; A. 11; C. 11, etc.; P. 13 and 3; V. 1/5

Length 8 inches 9 lines

Colour. ‘Above and sides olive brown, with red spots and marks; beneath silvery white; edges of the pectoral fins Prussian blue.’ - D.

 

This species is said by Cuvier and Valenciennes to be common all along the Brazilian coast as far as the mouth of the Plata. Mr. Darwin's specimen was taken swimming on the surface in the Bay of Rio de Janeiro, and agrees well with the description by those authors. ‘When first taken made a croaking noise.’ - D.

 

Plate VI

 

2. PRIONOTUS MILES. Jen.

PLATE VI

P. splendidč rubro variatus; rostro emarginato, ultrinque distinctč denticulato; buccis levissimč granulosis; fossulâ dorsali lateribus inermibus; squamis corporis parvis, ubique ciliatis; pinnis pectoralibus modicis, corpore certč triplň brevioribus; radiis liberis subincrassatis, apicibus dilatatis

B. 7; D. 10-12; A. 11; C. 12, &c.; P. 13 and 3; V. 1/5

Length 10 inches 3 lines

Form. In general form, that of the head especially, very similar to the Trigla hirundo of the British seas. Compared with the P. punctatus last described, it is rather more elongated, the depth and thickness being less. Profile falling less obliquely. Space between the eyes broader, but equally concave. Snout not so obtuse, and more deeply notched; with six short but well developed teeth on each side, followed by some minute denticles. The lines of granulations on the snout and cheeks are very fine, and not so strongly marked, or spread over so large a portion of the face. One principal spine, preceded by two or three small denticles, at the anterior angle of each orbit; at the posterior angle, a well marked notch with a small denticle (in this specimen the denticle on the left side of the head only), but no regular spine: these notches are connected by a transverse line on the cranium, but not by a groove (as in P. carolinus, Cuv. et Val.). No spines on the temples, or on the crest at the bottom of the preopercle; but the ordinary spine of the preopercle, as well as the opercular, suprascapular, and clavicular spines, appear as usual, though not quite so long as in the P. punctatus; the clavicular spine has one line of points along its ridge, but the granulations are not very obvious. Band of palatine teeth much as in P. punctatus. First dorsal spine with a row of granulated points in front; the second spine with a row on the left side of the fin; the third spine with a very rudimentary row on the right side; but none of these granulations very obvious: third spine longest, equalling about three-fourths of the depth of the body; the fourth and succeeding spines gradually decreasing to the tenth, which is barely visible, and so reclined as to be easily overlooked. Dorsal groove shallow, with the sides unarmed. Scales on the body small, broader than long; their free edges finely ciliated, communicating a decided roughness to the touch; their concealed portions crenated at the hinder margin, and marked with a fan of five or six strić. Lateral line not distinguished by any particular scales, but not forming a whitish streak from the upper part of the gill-opening to the caudal. Pectorals relatively shorter than in P. punctatus, contained a little more than three times in the entire length; when laid back they reach to a vertical line from the fourth ray of the second dorsal. Free rays rather stout, with their tips somewhat dilated and approaching to spatuliform; in length about two-thirds that of the pectorals. Ventrals a trifle longer than the first or longest of the free rays.

Colour. ‘Above mottled brilliant tile red; beneath silvery white.’ - D. Mr. Darwin is rather doubtful whether by the above description, he meant that the entire fish was brilliant red, or only mottled with red upon some obscure ground.

Habitat, Galapagos Archipelago.

Taken at Chatham Island, in the Galapagos Archipelago, and decidedly distinct from all the species described by Cuvier and Valenciennes. From P. strigatus it differs in the finer granulations of the cheeks, less obtuse and more deeply notched snout, smooth scales, and absence of a second lateral line; from P. carolinus in the want of a transverse groove on the cranium, and in the fin-ray formula, but it resembles this species in the dilated tips of the free rays; from P. punctatus as pointed out in the description; from P. tribulus in the want of the spine on the suborbital, and in its much shorter pectorals. These fins indeed are shorter than in any of the above-mentioned.

As all the species described in the Histoire des Poissons , are found on the Atlantic side of America, the geographical range of this genus is extended to the Pacific by the discovery of the present one.

FAMILY: COTTIDAE

ASPIDOPHORUS CHILOENSIS. Jen .

PLATE VII. FIG. I. Lateral view twice nat. size.
FIG. IA. Dorsal view nat. size.
FIG. IB. Lateral view nat. size.

A. corpore elongato, anticč octagono, posticč hexagono; vomereet ossibus palatinis dentibus distinctis instructis; maxillis subćqualibus; rostro ultrŕ fauces haud producto; mento et membranâ branchiali cirratis; pinnis dorsalibus discretis; primâ radiis gracilibus

Form. More elongated than the A. cataphractus , which it somewhat resembles in general appearance. Anterior portion of the body octagonal, and the posterior, or all beyond the second dorsal and anal, hexagonal. Head equally depressed as in that species; but its breadth less, being only one-fifth of the entire ength, caudal excluded. Length of the head rather less than one-fourth of the entire length. Depth at the nape rather less than one-seventh of the same. Eyes relatively a little larger than in A. cataphractus; their diameter one-fourth the length of the head; placed high in the cheeks, and distant one diameter from the end of the snout. Upper part of the orbit elevated into an osseous ridge on each side of the crown of the head, with a spine at its anterior angle, and the ridge itself terminating in a sharp, rather stronger, spine at the posterior angle; both spines directed backwards. Space between the eyes concave, equalling in breadth not quite one diameter of the eye, with two longitudinal sharp ridges running respectively parallel to the ridges of the orbits, but not nearly so much elevated as these last; these ridges terminate posteriorly at a groove, which runs transversely behind the eyes, separating the vertex from the occiput. The snout presents the same four spines, which are to be seen in the A. cataphractus, but it does not project beyond the mouth. The lower margin of the suborbital presents a somewhat irregular ridge formed by a series of bluntish tubercles, the last of which terminates in a very minute spine of bluntish tubercles, the last of which terminates in a very minute spine directed backwards. Limb of the preopercle with three diverging smooth ridges, dilating at their extremities into three flattened blunt points, which project a little beyond the membrane, but can scarcely be called spines. Opercle with one ridge not so strongly marked as those of the preopercle, and not terminating in any distinct point, nor even reaching quite to the edge of the membrane. Jaws nearly equal; but the upper one a very little the longest; each with a narrow band of minute velutine teeth: a distinct chevron of similar teeth on the front of the vomer, and a short imperfect row on each palatine. Tongue smooth. Gill opening large: the branchial membrane not notched, but passing transversely over the isthmus, to the edge of which it is nevertheless attached on each side. Chin clothed with short fleshy cirri; also a few on the lower jaw and branchial membrane; but they are much shorter, and less conspicuous than in the A. cataphractus, especially on the branchial membrane, where they are very sparingly scattered. The occiput presents the four usual ridges formed of granulated tubercles; and between the innermost pair there is also a much less conspicuous, but slightly raised line running longitudinally down the middle: the two innermost of the above ridges are nearly in a line respectively with the two ridges of the orbit, behind which they commence, and they would pass on to unite with the two dorsal carinć were they not separated from the latter by a deep transverse depression at the nape: the two outermost of the occipital ridges commence behind the eyes themselves, and terminate at the suprascapulars, each in a sharp point directed backwards, but not prolonged into a spine. The carinated scales which arm the body of this species, are more sharply serrated than those of the A. cataphractus, the keels terminating behind in hooked points; and the elevated lines which form the strić on each side of the keel are fewer in number and more raised. The ridges which they form are also more marked, and the second ridge on each side commences immediately behind the angle of the opercle, instead of opposite the vent as in that species; so that the whole body is perfectly octagonal from the gills to the termination of the dorsal and anal fins;11 at that point, the two dorsal ridges and the two ventral unite respectively to form one, or rather approximate so closely as to form but one in appearance; for, if closely examined, there will still be found two parallel rows of serratures. In each of the two uppermost or dorsal ridges, there are twenty-seven scales, reckoning from the hollow at the nape to the point where the ridges unite. In the second ridge (which extends, as before observed, from the gills to the caudal) there are thirty-eight.

In the third, which commences behind the pectoral, and extends in like manner to the caudal, there are thirty-five. In the fourth, which commences on the breast, immediately behind the point of attachment of the branchial membrane to the isthmus, there are thirty, reckoning to behind the anal, where it unites with its fellow to form one; between this point and the caudal there are ten, the serratures of which are rather obsolete. The fourth pair of ridges are throughout their course less sharply serrated than the second and third pairs, and these last again rather less so than the first dorsal pair. Between the two ventral ridges, near their commencement in front of the ventral fins, are six slightly serrated scales (similar to those in the ridges) forming on the breast a somewhat triangular patch, two single ones standing first, then four others in pairs. The lateral line, which is catenulated as in A. cataphractus , commences at the upper angle of the opercle, then bends downwards to take a middle course between the second and third ridges, which it preserves to the caudal. The first dorsal commences behind the seventh scale in the dorsal ridges, or at about one-third of the entire length; it is of the same form as in the A. cataphractus, but contains more rays; its membrane terminates at the fifteenth scale, and there are rather more than two scales between it and the second dorsal, which last is rather shorter and higher than the first. The rays of the first dorsal are not stouter than those of the second, nor relatively stouter than those of the A. cataphractus. The rays of the second dorsal are simple, with the second and third rather longer than the first. The anal answers to the second dorsal. The pectorals are rounded, and one-fifth of the entire length. Ventrals very narrow, and scarcely more than half the length of the pectorals. Position of the vent a little anterior to a line connecting the extremities of the ventrals.

11 In the A. cataphractus, the body is hexagonal from the gills to a little beyond the vent; octagonal from this last point to the termination of the dorsal and anal fins; then hexagonal again to the end of the tail.

Colour. (In spirits.) Dusky grey above and on the sides, paler beneath; with four broad transverse blackish fasciae passing across the back and down the sides as far as the third longitudinal ridge of scales. The first fascia is in the region of the first half of the first dorsal; the second at the commencement of the second dorsal; the third near the end of the second dorsal; the fourth half way between the end of the second dorsal and the caudal; and a little beyond this there is a faint trace of a fifth fascia. The body is a little mottled in places with spots of the same dark colour as the fasciae, and the fins, with the exception of the ventrals, are of the same hue.

Habitat, Chiloe (West coast of S. America).

The absence of vomerine teeth has been considered by Cuvier as one of the characters serving to distinguish Aspidophorus from Cottus ; but as these teeth are very distinctly developed in the present species, we must rather dwell upon the large keeled sharp-pointed scales, which envelope the body in a kind of mail, and, as Dr. Richardson observes, 12 ‘give the Aspodophori a totally different aspect from the Cotti’. Indeed on equally strong grounds as those on which Cuvier has separated Pinguipes from Percis and Prionotus from Trigla , the present species, which possesses both vomerine and palatine teeth,13 might be made a distinct genus from Aspidophorus, or at least considered as one of its subgenera. But in the present uncertain state of our knowledge with respect to the exact value of this character,14 and from the general resemblance of the A. chiloensis in all its principal characters to the other species of this genus, 15 I have not thought this step necessary.

The species was taken by Mr. Darwin at Chiloe. There are two specimens in the collection. The second differs from the one above described, only in having one ray less in the first dorsal, and two more carinated scales in each of the dorsal ridges. Independently of its having vomerine and palatine teeth as above noticed, this species will not enter into any of Cuvier's sections of the genus Aspidophorus, but combines in itself the characters of his first and third; the dorsals being separated by nearly three scales, the jaws being very nearly equal, the rays of the first dorsal not stouter than those of the second, and the throat being bearded.

12 Faun. Bor. Amer., Part Third, p. 49.
13 Is it not possible that this may be found to be also the case with several of the foreign species described by Cuvier, in which the absence of these teeth has been rather presumed than ascertained from actual examination?
14 Cuvier seems to have attached much value to the character of teeth on the palate; but I agree with Dr. Richardson ( Faun. Bor. Am., Part iii, p. 19), in considering it ‘of little importance as a generic character in some families of fish’. And the author last mentioned notices an instance (exactly analogous to that of the Aspidophorus chiloensis) in the Thymallus signifer , which, he says, ‘resembles the common grayling very closely in its general form, but differs from it in having palatine teeth’.
15 In its general characters it does not depart from the A. cataphractus of the British seas, anything like so much as the A. quadricornis , and A. monopterygius do.

 

PLATYCEPHALUS INOPS. Jen.

P. capite longo, lćvi, ubique inermi, spinis duâbus ad angulum preoperculi brevissimis ćqualibus exceptis; oculis magnis, arctč propinquantibus: dorso et lateribus fuscis; abdomine albido; pinnâ dorsali primâ liturâ magnâ irregulari nigro-fuscâ posticč maculatâ; dorsali secundâ, caudali, et pectoralibus, maculis fuscis parvis; anali et ventralibus ferč omnino nigricantibus

B. 7; D. 8-12; A. 12; C. 13, etc.; P. 19; V. 1/5

Long. unc. 16

Form. Head very much depressed, and rather longer than in most of the species of this genus; its length being nearly twice its own breadth, and nearly one-third of the entire length. Breadth of the body at the pectorals one-seventh of the entire length: depth at that point half the breadth. Snout rounded horizontally. Low jaw longest. Gape reaching to beneath the anterior margin of the orbit. A band of sharp velutine teeth in each jaw broadest above; a double semicircular patch of similar teeth on the front of the vomer, and a band all along each palatine as broad as that in the lower jaw. Branchial arches and pharyngeans rough with similar teeth. Tongue free, thin, flat, truncated at the apex with a double emargination in the middle, of equal breadth throughout, without teeth, the central portion cartilaginous with a broad membranous border all round. Eyes large, their diameter one-sixth the length of the head, approximating, with not half a diameter between, distant two diameters from the extremity of the lower jaw. The spines of the preopercle (which in some species are long and very unequal) very short and inconspicuous, of equal length, the lower one rounded off almost to nothing. Head smooth all over; presenting the usual ridges, which however are not very salient, but with hardly anything deserving the name of spines, excepting only a small flat spine terminating the opercle, and a minute but sharp one on the upper ridge of the scapula: none at the anterior angle of the first suborbital, or on the ridge of the orbit. Gill opening very large; the branchial membrane notched underneath for its whole length.

Pectorals broad and oval but short, contained nearly eight times in the entire length; the first two rays simple, but next ten branched, the last seven, which are rather stout, again simple. Ventrals separate by nearly the whole breadth of the body, attached beneath the middle of the pectorals, longer than these last fins by nearly one-third, and reaching very nearly but not quite to the vent, which is a little posterior to the middle of the entire length: the spine of the ventrals is one-third of the longest of the articulated rays which are the last or innermost. The first dorsal commences above the middle of the pectorals, and occupies between one-sixth and one-seventh of the entire length; its greatest height is about two-thirds of its own length; the first spine is very short, and detached, as in the other species; the second a little shorter than the third which is longest; the rest gradually decrease to the last, which is one-third the length of the second; this fin therefore is not so triangular as in many of this genus. A small space between the first and second dorsals. This last longer and rather lower than the former, contained four and a half times in the entire length; all the rays nearly even, with the exception of the first only, which is a little shorter than the second. Caudal square. The anal answers to the second dorsal, but begins, as well as terminates, a little backwarder.

The lateral line commences at the suprascapular, and gradually bends down till it reaches the middle of the depth which it keeps for the remainder of its course; it is perfectly smooth throughout. The scales cover all the body and a part of the head, but are not present between the eyes, or on the front of the snout, or on the jaws. They are small, oblong-oval, finely striated, with a fan of eleven or twelve deeper striae posteriorly, their free edges cut square, not ciliated.

Colour. (In spirits.) Back and sides nearly uniform deep brown; beneath white; the two colour separated by a well-defined line. First dorsal transparent, with a deep brown stain or blotch on the membrane, of an irregular form, and occupying more than the posterior half of the fin. Second dorsal uniformly, but rather obscurely, spotted throughout. Caudal with transverse rows of similar spots. Anal nearly uniform pale dusky, the spots hardly distinguishable from the ground. Ventrals the same. Pectorals with spots on the rays, but with the intervening membrane nearly transparent.

Habitat, King George's Sound, New Holland.

This species very closely approaches the P. laevigatus of Cuvier and Valenciennes, with which it particularly agrees in the smoothness of its head, and large approximating eyes. The two spines, however, at the angle of the preopercle appear to be still smaller than in that species;16 the fin-ray formula is a little different: and so also are the colors; the first dorsal being particularly characterized by a large irregular dark-colored stain on its posterior portion, and the anal and ventrals being almost wholly dusky, instead of pale with spots on the rays only, as in the P. laevigatus. Possibly it may be a mere variety. Mr. Darwin's specimen was obtained at King George's Sound.

16 Judging from the figure in the Voyage de l'Astrolobe (Zoologie), pl. 10, f. 4.

 
FAMILY: SCORPAENIDAE

SCORPAENA HISTRIO. Jen.

PLATE VIII

S. toto corpore coccineo, pinnis pallidioribus, maculis parvis irregularibus nigricantibus: capite magnâ ex parte alepidoto, lineis spinosis solitis armato: pinnâ dorsali spinis inćqualibus, tertiâ paulo longissimâ: capite et lateribus cirris cutaneis parvis ubique adornatis; quatuor palpebralibus, prćsertim duobus posterioribus, majoribus, palmatis

B. 7; D. 12/9; A. 3/5; C. 13, etc.; P. 20; V. 1/5

Long. unc. 9

Form. General form resembling that of the S. scrofa . Depth at the pectorals just one-fourth of the entire length. Thickness a trifle more than two-thirds of the depth. Head more than one-third of the entire length. Eyes large and elevated, distant from the end of the snout rather more than one diameter; the space between very concave, twice as long as broad, with two whitish lines in the central furrow, diverging as they recede backwards towards the nape, but scarcely elevated into salient ridges. Mouth oblique with the gape large and the lower jaw a little the longest; when closed, the end of the maxillary, which is broad and much dilated, reaches to a vertical line from the posterior part of the orbit. A broadish band of velutine teeth in each jaw as well as on the vomer and palatines. Tongue smooth. A small sharp triangular spine on each of the nasal bones (in this specimen that on the left side is double or forked): upper margin of the orbit, which is much elevated, with three spines, one strong one at the anterior angle, and two, nearly as large, further back; beyond which, on the left orbit only, is a fourth smaller one. Space between the eyes bounded posteriorly by a raised arc having the curvature inwards, with a spine on each side; this is followed by the depressed occiput, which forms a hollow; and on each side of this, at its posterior margin, or at the commencement of the nape, are two other strong spines: there are likewise two spines at the suprascapulars, and between these and the posterior margin of the orbit of the eye, on what may be called the temples, are two more; of these last, the first, which is small and close to the orbit, is double; the second, which is larger and situate a little above the upper angle of the preopercle, is, in this specimen, double on the right side and single on the left. The first suborbital has two spines on its anterior margin, the first directed forwards, and the second downwards; on its disk are two salient ridges, which are unarmed, and not very conspicuous. The second suborbital is entirely without spines, but elevated in the middle into a double smooth ridge or crest. Margin of the preopercle with six spines; the second longest, the first, as well as the two lowermost, small and inconspicuous. Opercle with two osseous diverging ridges terminating in spines: the scapular and clavicular bones likewise terminate each in a flattened spine. Lateral line and scales much as in S. scrofa ; the latter with their free edges perfectly smooth.

The cutaneous filaments and appendages on this species are as follows: three small ones at the extremity of the snout; one small but broad one at the upper margin of the anterior orifice of the nostril; two very conspicuous palmated ones on each orbit, especially the posterior one, which is largest, and very broad; two on the margin of the first suborbital; some small ones on the cheeks and maxillaries; six beneath the lower jaw, two being near the symphysis, and two on each ramus; a scattered about the nape and sides of the body, of which a row along the lateral line are rather more conspicuous than the others.

The spines of the dorsal fin are moderately strong, and unequal; the first is rather more than half the length of the second, which itself is two-thirds of the third; this last is less than half, but more than two-fifths, of the depth of the body; from the third, the spines decrease very gradually to the eleventh, which is a little longer than the first; the twelfth is higher than the eleventh by one-third; soft portion of the fin rounded, and where most elevated just equalling in height the third or longest spine. Anal spines very unequal; the first not very stout, and less than half the length of the second, which is very strong indeed, as well as the longest of the three; the third is stouter than the first, but not nearly so stout as the second, though nearly equalling that spine in length: soft portion of this fin with its greatest elevation rather exceeding the second spine. Caudal slightly rounded. Pectorals rather more than one-fifth of the entire length; the ten lowermost rays simple; the nine immediately above these branched; the uppermost of all simple like the bottom ones, but slenderer as well as shorter than the others. Ventrals not above two-thirds the length of the pectorals; in other respects as in S. scrofa.

A second specimen. Smaller than the one above described, measuring seven inches and a half in length. The two diverging lines on the cranium between the eyes are rather more salient, and the left orbit is without the fourth spine; but in all other respects, including the fin-ray formula, the two specimens are exactly similar.

Colour. ‘Whole body scarlet red, fins rather paler; with small irregularly-shaped light black spots.’ - D.

Habitat, Chatham Island, Galapagos Archipelago.

This species differs more or less in the details of form, as well as colours, from all those which I can find described by authors. Most of the foreign species of this genus noticed by Cuvier and Valenciennes, come either from the eastern coast of America or the East Indies; and they do not appear to have received any from that part of the Pacific, whence the present one was obtain

SEBASTES OCULATA. Val.?

Sebastes oculata, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. ix , p. 344.

Form. Greatest depth contained about three times and three quarters in the entire length. Head about one-third of the same. Eyes large; the interocular space, equalling rather more than half their diameter, concave, with two longitudinal ridges running respectively parallel to the two superciliary ridges. Two spines on the upper part of the snout, in a line with the nostrils; one at the anterior part of the orbit; three at the posterior, passing off in a line towards the occiput, where there are two other moderately strong ones terminating the lateral occipital ridges; five very strong spines or teeth edging the rounded angle of the preopercle; two sharp ones at the posterior angle of the opercle, the upper one most developed; one at the scapula, and two at the suprascapular. There are either three orifices to each nostril, or else, adjoining the two usual openings, a large pore so manifest (at least in this specimen in its dried state) as easily to be mistaken for a third: this additional one is close to the nasal spine. Dorsal spines of only moderate strength: anal stronger, especially the second, which is very stout, as well as the longest of the three; the third, however, is more than half the length of the soft rays. Pectorals broad and rounded; their length contained about four times and a half in the entire length; first ray simple, the next eight branched, the nine lowermost simple again, and rather stouter than the others. The caudal appears to have been square. Scales small and ciliated, covering nearly the entire head, as well as body, but very thinly scattered on the extremity of the snout in advance of the nostrils.

D. 13/14; A. 3/6; C. 14, and 3 shorter ones; P. 18; V. 1/5

Length 10 inches

Colour. ‘Under surface, sides, branchial covering, and part of the fins, "tile and carmine red"; dorsal scales pale yellowish dirty brown.’ - D. In its present dried state, the colour is of a uniform brown.

Habitat, Valparaiso.

This species is probably the S. oculata of Valenciennes; but the depth rather exceeds, and in its recent state it must have still more exceeded, one-fourth of the entire length, the proportion given in the Histoire des Poissons. The spines on the opercle and suprascapular also can hardly be called 'smaller', and there stated, than those on the orbit and occiput, at least the upper one on the opercle. There are also two soft rays less in the anal. It may be added further, that Mr. Darwin's notes make no mention of the four brilliant rose-coloured spots along the base of the dorsal fin, spoken of by Valenciennes.

The S. oculata was discovered by M. Gay at Valparaiso, where Mr. Darwin's specimen also was obtained. It is the only species of this genus on record brought hitherto from South America. It may be stated, however, that Mr. Darwin has a drawing of another species, made by Mr. P. King, found also at Valparaiso, differing form the above in having the spines on the head less developed, and apparently, in some of its characters, approaching the S. variabilis. This last is a species inhabiting the sea which separates N. America from Kamitschatka.

 

 

AGRIOPUS HISPIDUS. Jen.

PLATE VII. FIG. 2. Twice nat. size
FIG. 2A. Nat. size.
FIG. 2B. Portion of the hispid cuticle magnified. 17

A. pallidč rubro-aurantius, dorso nigricante, pinnis nigro-maculatis: corpore hispido, altitudine tertiam partem longitudinis ćquante; spinis nasalibus duâbus parvis recurvis; vomere dentibus velutinis minutissimi instructo: pinnâ dorsali inćquali, anticč allevatâ, spinis quartâ et quintâ paulo longissimis, succedentibus gradatim diminutis, ultimâ radiis articulatis multň breviori

D. 17/13; A. 1/8; C. 13, etc.; P. 9; V. 1/5

Long. unc. 1. lin. 9

 

17 Called by mistake in the plate ‘magnified scales’.

Form. General form resembling that of the A. torvus , but the depth much greater, equalling one-third of the entire length, or very nearly. Length of the head somewhat less than the depth of the body. The line of greatest depth passes through the insertion of the pectorals. The profile viewed apart from the superciliary ridges, which are sharp and prominent, falls in a straight but oblique line from the commencement of the dorsal to the mouth. On each side of the median line of the snout, in advance of the eyes, is a small but sharp spine, directed upwards and backwards. There are also two minute spines on the first suborbital immediately above and behind the end of the maxillary; these are placed one over the other, the uppermost, which is the sharpest and most conspicuous, taking an upward direction like the nasal spines, the lowermost, which is blunt and not so obvious, a downward one. Mouth small, without any teeth can be discerned even with a lens; but a decided roughness can be felt on the vomer, seeming to indicate the presence of minute teeth on that part. The superciliary ridges, already alluded to, are slightly granulated, and terminate behind in two sharp triangular points. The occipital ridges, a ridge on the posterior suborbital immediately beneath the eye, and an interrupted ridge on the temples and suprascapulars, are in like manner granulated, or rather obscurely crenated. The opercle and preopercle are marked with a few strić, but show neither granulations nor spines. Gill-opening very small. no scales on any part of the head and body; but the whole surface of the latter is hispid with minute bristly appendages to the cuticle, each springing from a minute papilla. There are also a number of fine lines traversing the cuticle in two directions, and forming a kind of net-work. The lateral line commences at the suprascapular, and terminates a little beyond the end of the dorsal, not reaching quite to the caudal; its course is nearly, but not exactly, parallel to the dorsal line, the distance between them being at first one-third, but towards the caudal between one-third and one-fourth of the depth.

Dorsal very much elevated anteriorly, but its height by no means uniform throughout; the first spine one-fourth shorter than the second; this again a little shorter than the third; and this last a very little shorter than the fourth and fifth, which are longest, and which equal three-fourths of the depth of the body; sixth and succeeding ones gradually decreasing, the ninth being about equal to the first, the twelfth about one-third shorter; the next four are scarcely shorter than the twelfth, and the seventeenth or last is a little higher than the sixteenth; then follows the soft portion of the fin, which is here again elevated, the soft rays being nearly double the length of the last spinous.18 The anal answers in position to the first two-thirds of the soft dorsal, terminating before that fin, as in A. torvus : the fourth, fifth, and sixth soft rays are longest, and much longer than the soft rays of the dorsal; the spine is short and slender, and not much more than half the length of the first soft ray. The last ray of both dorsal and anal is divided quite to the root so as to appear as two. The caudal appears to have been rounded, but the ends of the rays are worn and broken. Pectorals long, equalling one-third of the entire length: they consist of nine rays, the three middle ones of which are longest; the three upper and the three lower ones are respectively equal; all the rays simple. Ventrals much shorter than the pectorals, and, though attached rather more behind, not reaching so far; their spine is rather stout, much more so than that of the anal, and about three-fourths the length of the first two soft rays, which are the longest in the fin.

18 This portion of the fin is not quite correctly represented in the plate, being made too low, in consequence of the rays having been broken at their extremities in the specimen figured.

Colour. ‘Pale reddish orange, with black spots on the fins, and a dusky shade on the back.’ - D.

A second specimen only differs from the above in having the teeth in the jaws more sensible to the touch, though still scarcely to be seen; and in the superciliary and occipital ridges being less granulated or crenated at the edges. The colours also are a little darker. The fin-ray formula is exactly the same in both specimens.

Habitat, Peninsula of Tres Montes, Archipelago of Chiloe.

This species approaches most nearly the A. peruvianus of Cuvier and Valenciennes, with which it agrees in the great depth of the body, and in the presence of two nasal spines; but it differs in the roughness of the skin (that species being described as smooth), and in the greater inequality of the dorsal fin. Perhaps it may be the same as the species brought from the coast of Chili by Mr. Cuming, and briefly noticed by Mr. Bennett in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society (1832, p. 5), but which this last gentleman did not venture to describe as new, from the circumstance of its general agreement with the A. peruvianus. The principal deviation in Mr. Cuming's fish from the species mentioned is stated to have occurred in the number of the fin-rays; those of the spinous portion of the dorsal fin being seventeen (one less than in the A. peruvianus), while of the soft rays of the anal there were ten (three more than in the species referred to). Mr. Darwin's fish agrees with Mr. Cuming's in the number of the dorsal spines, but not in that of the soft rays of the anal, which is eight, being one more than in the A. peruvianus and two less than in Mr. Cuming's; and it is observable that both the specimens obtained by Mr. Darwin agree in this particular. Mr. Bennett has not noticed any of the other characters of Mr. Cuming's fish. 19

One of the most distinguishing peculiarities in the species here described is the existence of vomerine teeth, which though extremely minute are quite sensible to the touch. As these teeth are denied by Cuvier to the whole genus, we have here another instance, similar to that of the Aspidophorus chiloensis already mentioned, of the slight value of the character which their presence or absence affords. Possible, however, they may disappear in the adult state. Both Mr. Darwin's specimen are small, neither equalling two inches; and if they are immature, which is probably the case, some of the other characters mentioned in the description, perhaps even the hispidity of the skin, may result from this circumstance. They must therefore be received with caution until larger specimens shall have been obtained.

19 Since the above was printed, Mr. Waterhouse has been kind enough to show me in the museum of the Zoological Society the specimen which he believes to be the one procured by Mr. Cuming. Unless the characters are very much altered by age, it is decidedly distinct from the A. hispidus above described. The general form indeed is the same; but the skin is perfectly smooth, marked with vertical striae; the granulated ridges on the head are less prominent, and the superciliary ridges without spines. The fin-ray formula is not quite as stated by Mr. Bennett, who appears, in his computation, to have mistaken the last dorsal spine for one of the soft rays of that fin, and also to have overestimated the number of soft rays in the anal. The formula is really 18/12; A. 1/9, etc. I have no doubt of Mr. Cuming's fish being the true A. peruvianus; whilst the one here characterized as new is probably the young of a nearly allied species. Mr. Cuming's specimen is six and a half inches long.

It may be advantageous to science to mention here, though not immediately connected with the present inquiry, that another species of Agriopus in the museum of the Zoological Society, which was seen by M. Valenciennes during his visit to this country, and referred to by him in the Histoire des Poissons to the A. verrucosus, proves not to be that species, but the A. spinifer of Dr. Smith, recently described by him for the first time in his Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa.