FAMILY: SCIAENIDAE

OTOLITHUS GUATUCUPA. Cuv. et Val.

Otolithus guatucupa, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. v , p. 56, pl. 104.

Form. Elongated, with the back only very slightly elevated beneath the first dorsal: in advance of that fin the dorsal line is nearly straight, and continuous with the profile. Greatest depth contained exactly four times and a half in the entire length. Head long, contained three and a half times in the same. Lower jaw projecting considerably beyond the upper, and ascending to meet it. Two strongly developed curved canines at the extremity of the upper jaw; the rest of the teeth in this jaw consist of a single row of fine card, nearly equal throughout: in the lower jaw there are no canines, but one similar row of card, rather stronger than those above, and not equal, the smallest being in front, and those at the sides becoming gradually larger as they extend backwards. No vestige of scales on the lower jaw, lips or maxillary; but the suborbital is covered with bright silvery scales. Eye full, and moderately sized; its diameter one-fifth the length of the head; its distance from the end of the upper jaw equalling the diameter. Margin of the preopercle with a few indistinct strić and obsolete denticulations. Opercle with two flat points not much developed. Lateral line very distinct, commencing at rather less than one-third of the depth, but curving gradually downwards to one-half; continued to nearly the extremity of the caudal; each scale marked with an elevated line, from which there proceed one or two small ramifications on each side.

First dorsal triangular, with the first spine very short, the fourth longest, the fifth and succeeding ones gradually decreasing, the last or tenth being shorter than the first. Second dorsal almost contiguous, its spine or first ray about equalling the first ray of the first dorsal: this fin is more than half as long again as the first, and the rays are nearly even. The anal commences further back than a point opposite the middle of the second dorsal; there are in reality two spines in this fin, but the first is so extremely minute as to be almost microscopic, and not seen, unless very carefully sought for; the second or principal spine is weak, and rather more than one-third the length of the soft rays. Caudal apparently square, but the rays being worn at the tips, its exact form cannot be determined. The second dorsal, as well as the anal and caudal, are partially covered with small scales, which, however, are not very obvious. Pectorals narrow and rather small, being scarcely more than half the length of the head. Ventrals placed a little further back, and rather shorter than the pectorals.

B. 7; D. 10-1/20; A. 1/8; C. 17; P. 16; V. 1/5

Length 9 inc. 9 lines

Colour. ‘Silvery white, above iridescent with violet purple and blue.’ - D. Mr. Darwin has not noticed the dark transverse lines, which descend from the back obliquely forwards, as represented in the Histoire des Poissons, and of which there are evident traces, though apparently much effaced by the action of the spirit.

Habitat, Maldonado Bay, Rio Plata.

This species, which Cuvier and Valenciennes consider as the Guatucupa of Margrave, was obtained by Mr. Darwin at Maldonado. M. D'Orbigny had previously taken it at Monte Video. The only respects in which Mr. Darwin's specimen differs from D'Orbigny's, is in its having two more rays in the soft dorsal, and a slightly longer anal spine, judging from the figure in the Histoire des Poissons ; but I cannot imagine that they are distinct on these grounds only, so exactly do they agree in all their other characters.

CORVINA ADUSTA. Agassiz

Corvina adusta, Spix et Agass., Pisces Brazil , p. 126, tab. 70.

Form. Greatest depth beneath the commencement of the first dorsal fin, and equalling one-fourth of the entire length. Back somewhat carinated, and moderately arched, forming one continuous curve with the profile, which falls with considerable obliquity. Ventral line nearly straight, and the abdomen much flattened in front of, and between the ventrals. Length of the head just equalling the depth of the body. Snout obtuse, with two small lobes at bottom, one on each side of the extremity, as in several others species of this genus. Mouth horizontal, at the bottom of the snout; when closed, the maxillary reaching a little beyond a vertical from the anterior margin of the orbit. Four pores beneath the symphysis; and seven, in two rows, round the extremity of the snout; those in the lower row large. Jaws nearly equal; the upper one perhaps a little the longest. Teeth forming a velutine band above and below; those above with an outer row of somewhat longer and stronger ones. Eyes rather small; their diameter about one-fifth the length of the head. Nostrils consisting of two round apertures in advance of the eye, the posterior one largest; the anterior with a raised margin. Preopercle a little less than rectangular, with the angle at bottom somewhat rounded: the ascending margin rectilineal, sloping rather in advance of a vertical, and distinctly toothed, the teeth becoming smaller upwards: at the angle are two stronger teeth or spines, the uppermost directed backwards and a little downwards, the lowermost downwards and a little backwards; between these two teeth there is an interval; the basal margin of the preopercle is quite smooth. Opercle terminating in two flat inconspicuous points.

Snout, cheeks, and gill covers, covered with scales of very unequal sizes: those serving as a boundary between the check and the preopercle, some on the suprascapular lamina, and a row extending thence upwards and forwards to the occiput, much smaller than the others. Scales on the body of moderate size, arranged in oblique rows; about fifty-five in a longitudinal line, and nineteen or twenty in a vertical. One taken from above the lateral line, and nearly in the middle of the length, is oblong, approaching to circular, its surface marked, with a number of concentric much crowded, curved lines, somewhat undulating behind, with a fan of about twelve deeper strić converging to a point considerably in advance of the centre of the scale; the free portion is also marked with several well-marked nearly parallel lines which terminate in denticles at the anterior margin. Those on the lateral line have the mucous tubes somewhat ramified, and are accompanied throughout its course by some minuter scales, similar to those on the head above pointed out. The lateral line is at one-third of the depth, till it arrives beneath the middle of the soft dorsal, where it falls to one-half.

First dorsal of a triangular form, separated from the soft portion by a deep notch; the first spine very small and inconspicuous; the second somewhat shorter than the third; fourth longest, nearly equalling half the depth; all the spines in this fin rather slender. The second dorsal commences with a spine somewhat longer than the last spine in the first dorsal, and not quite half the length of the first soft ray; soft rays nearly even throughout, and not equalling the highest point of the first dorsal. Anal short and somewhat rounded, commencing beneath the middle of the second dorsal, and double the height of that fin; its first spine very short and inconspicuous; second long and moderately stout, but shorter than the first soft ray by one-third; second soft ray the longest; third and succeeding ones gradually decreasing. Pectorals narrow and pointed, shorter than the head: first ray simple, the rest branched; third, fourth and fifth longest. Ventrals attached a trifle backwarder than the pectorals, which they do not equal in length; the spine much slenderer than that of the anal, and rather more than half the length of the first soft ray. Caudal squarish, but with the margin a little sinuous.

B. 7; D. 10-1/28; A. 2/8; C. 17; P. 17; V. 1/5

Length 8 inches 6 lines

Colour. ‘Above inclining to coppery, with irregular transverse bars of brown; beautifully iridescent with violet.’ - D. The bars alluded to by Mr. Darwin are some dark lines which, commencing at the upper part of the back, pass forwards and downwards in an oblique direction; they bend more and more downwards as they advance, and disappear a little below the middle. The whole fish has a metallic gloss, particularly about the cheeks and gill-covers, and very visible even in its present state.

A second specimen, exactly similar to the above, is nearly twelve inches in length.

Habitat, Maldonado and Monte Video.

I entertain no doubt of this species being the C. adusta of Agassiz, figured in Spix's Fishes of Brazil . It is not described by Cuvier and Valenciennes, but belongs to their second section of the genus, characterized by the small spines on the ascending margin, and especially at the angle, of the preopercle. It seems to be particularly distinguished by the small scales on some parts of the head, and along the lateral line where they accompany the larger ones. These characters have not been overlooked by Agassiz. There are two specimens in the collection, the larger one taken at Monte Video, the smaller at Maldonado.

1. UMBRINA ARENATA. Cuv. et Val.

Umbrina arenata, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. v , p. 141.

Form. Rather elongated, with the back very little arched; the greatest depth contained about five times and a quarter in the entire length. Length of the head about equal to the depth of the body. Profile falling very gradually, and nearly in a straight line, in front of the dorsal. Snout very much projecting; the margin at bottom, above the upper jaw, divided into four lobes which are cut square at their extremities. Round the end of the snout, and immediately above the lobes, is a double row of pores, the lower ones large. Also four pores beneath the symphysis of the lower jaw. Barbule at the chin scarcely exceeding a line or a line and a half in length. A band of velutine teeth in each jaw, with an outer row in card; these last moderately strong, sharp, and rather wide apart, not above fourteen or sixteen in the row. Preopercle very obsoletely denticulated. Opercle with two flat points not much developed.

First dorsal triangular; the first spine very small; the second, third and fourth elevated rather in a point, the third equalling two-thirds of the depth of the body or more. Second dorsal nearly twice the length of the first. Anal commencing opposite the sixth soft ray of that fin, short, and terminating considerably before it; the anal spine weak, and very little more than half the length of the soft rays. Caudal with the posterior margin sinuous, the upper part being slightly crescent-shaped, the lower portion rounded, and broader than the upper. Pectorals a very little shorter than the head. Ventrals attached a little behind the pectorals is a small triangular membranous lamina: there is also a narrow pointed one in the axilla of the ventrals covered with scales. The scales on the body are thin, rather small, somewhat rhomboidal, with their free margins ciliated, and with a fan of twelve strić behind.

B. 7; D. 10-1/25; A. 1/8; C. 17; P. 21; V. 1/5

Length 9 inches 6 lines

Colour. ‘Body mottled with silver and green: dorsal and caudal fins lead-colour.’ - D. In spirits, the colour appears dusky brown, with darker mottlings and silvery reflections; paler beneath. The fins are dusky, but the basal half of the dorsal is darker than the upper. The pectorals are darker than the other fins, especially the inside; on the left pectoral, the dark colour is restricted to three broad transverse fascić. There are also on the pectorals and anal, and on most of the scales on the body, small blackish dots, as mentioned in the Histoire des Poissons .

A second specimen, smaller than the above, has the back rather more arched, the greatest depth being only five times in the length. The outer row of teeth in the upper jaw is not quite so conspicuous, the teeth being smaller and closer-set, and consequently more numerous. The soft dorsal and anal have fewer rays.

D. 10-1/22; A. 1/7; etc.

Length 7 inches 3 lines

Habitat, Bahia Blanca and Maldonado.

As Cuvier and Valenciennes have mentioned individuals of this species, which varied in the number of rays in the soft dorsal from twenty-two to twenty-four, I cannot but consider the two above described as specifically the same, though in the first these rays amount to as many as twenty-five. This, which is the larger specimen, was taken by Mr. Darwin at Bahia Blanca, where it is said to have been common. The other was obtained at Maldonado.

 

2. UMBRINA OPHICEPHALA. Jen.

U. elongata;rostro obtusissimo, tumido, haud ultrŕ fauces producto, margine inferiore quadrilobato, lobis intermediis rotundatis; fossulâ longitudinali internares, profundč exaratâ; poris quatuor infrŕ symphysin; dentibus velutinis, serie externâ in maxillâ superiore aculeiformi; preoperculo obsoletč denticulato; operculo mucronibus duobus parvis instructo; spinis dorsalibus tertiâ et quartâ longissimis, corporis altitudinem ćquantibus; spinâ anali gracili, radiis articulatis dimidio breviori

D. 12-1/22; A. 1/9; C. 17; P. 20; V. 1/5

Length 6 inches 5 lines

Form. Very much elongated; the greatest depth just one-sixth of the entire length; the head one-fifth. Dorsal line nearly straight. Profile falling very slightly till it reaches the nostrils, when it suddenly becomes vertical. Snout in consequence short, and very blunt, and not projecting beyond the jaws; with a deep broach channel down the middle, extending from between the nostrils to near the mouth: on each side of this channel, the snout is very protuberant. The lower margin of the snout is divided into four lobes, the central pair of which are rounded: above each of the exterior lobes is one large pore, and an odd one in the middle. There are also four pores beneath the symphysis, and a short barbule, as in the last species. The eye has a diameter about one-fifth the length of the head, and is distant one diameter from the end of the snout. The nostrils, which are immediately in advance of the eye, consist of two round apertures, one before the other, the posterior one double the size of the anterior. Upper jaw a very little longer than the lower. A band of velutine teeth in each jaw; with an outer row above of moderately strong card, rather curving inwards and backwards, and closer-set than those of the U. arenata , amounting to twenty-eight or thirty in number: there are also some smaller card teeth behind this outer row passing insensibly into the velutine. Preopercle very obsoletely denticulated. Opercle with two flat points not very obvious.

First dorsal triangular, and moderately high in the point; third and fourth spines longest, about equalling the depth of the body; first spine very small: all the spines rather slender. Second dorsal about half as long again as the first, but the rays are too much broken to judge of their relative lengths. Anal spine very slender, and about half the length of the soft rays. The caudal is injured, but appears to have been of nearly the same form as in the U. arenata. The pectorals are about three-fourths the length of the head, but the ends of the rays are worn. The ventrals are of the same length as the pectorals in their present state: they are placed rather backwarder than in the U. arenata, being attached beneath the first third of the pectorals: there is a pointed scale in their axilla, of about the same relative size as in that species. The scales on the body are rather smaller, ciliated on their free edges, with a fan of eleven or twelve strić behind. There are rows of small scales on the caudal, but none apparent on the other fins.

Colour. Mr. Darwin did not notice the colours of this species in its recent state. In spirits, it appears of a nearly uniform dusky brown, but paler on the abdomen, with traces of silvery reflections about the head. The fins are dark, but the anal paler at the base than at the tips of the rays.

Habitat, Coquimbo, Chile.

This species may be at once distinguished from all those described in the Histoire des Poissons , by its very elongated form. The head also has a peculiar character about it, and is not unlike that of some serpents. It appears to be the first species of this genus brought from the Pacific, the other foreign ones being all found either in the Indian seas, or on the Atlantic side of America. There are two specimens in the collection, exactly similar, and both obtained by Mr. Darwin at Coquimbo. They are, however, both in very bad condition; so much so, indeed, that I should have hesitated about describing them as new, had they not presented several obvious peculiarities.

 

GENUS: PRIONODES . 20 Jen.

Serrani formam quam maximč gerens. Pinna dorsalis unica, per totam longitudinem subćqualis. membrana branchialis septem-radiata. Nec fovea, nec pori, infrŕ symphysin. Dentes maxillares velutini, serie external cćteris fortiori, paucis, hic illic sparsis, subcaninis; palatini nulli. Preoperculum denticulatum. Operculum mucronibus tribus posticč armatum. Spina analis secunda fortis. Squamć corporis ciliatć; minutissimć inter radios pinnarum verticalium, in seriebus dispositae

I am called upon either to establish this new genus among the Sciaenidae, or to break down one of the essential distinctions set by Cuvier between this family and the Percidae. The form is so completely that of a Serranus -which it resembles especially in its dorsal fin, head, maxillary teeth, form and armature of the pieces of the gill cover, and in the arrangement of the scales on the body - that at first sight no one would hesitate to refer it to that group; but the vomer and palatines are without teeth.21 In this respect, indeed, I consider it an important discovery; as it affords another striking instance of the uncertainty of this character, in cases in which others, which have been generally made subordinate to it, remain constant. It is probable that the time will come, when it will be found necessary to revise some portion of the Percidae and Sciaenidae with reference to a more correct valuation of this character. For the present, however, I refrain from interfering with the Cuvierian arrangement; and the only alternative is to consider this as a new form among the Sciaenidae, where it must be placed along with those genera possessing one dorsal fin, and having seven rays in the branchiostegous membrane. Such are Haemulon , Pristipoma and Diagramma ; from all which, however, it is at once distinguished by the absence of pores at the symphysis and on the lower jaw, and by the much more developed spines on the opercle, and from Pristipoma by its having, further, scales on the vertical fins. On the whole, it seems to approach nearest to Haemulon; but the crown and snout are more free from scales than in that genus, and the scales on the body are not set in oblique rows, as is the case in so many of the true Sciaenidae. The head also has not cavernous appearance about it. This new form is from the Galapagos Archipelago.

21 With the exception of a small rough oblong spot, near the posterior extremity of the left palatine.

 

PRIONODES FASCIATUS. Jen.

PLATE IX, FIG. I

P. pallidč flavescenti-fuscus, fasciis transversis plurimis suprŕ rubescenti-nigris infrŕ miniatis; pinnis verticalibus maculis parvis ocellatis: vertice, rostro, et maxillis, nudis; preoperculo margine adscendenti denticulato, basali lćvi; operculo mucrone intermedio forti; spinis dorsalibus ad apices laciniis investitis; pinnâ caudali subaequali

B. 7; D. 10/12; A. 3/7; C. 17; P. 18; V. 1/5

Long. unc. 7. lin. 3

Form. Oval, compressed; the back not much arched, forming one continuous curve with the profile, which falls gently from the nape; ventral line less convex than the dorsal. Greatest depth equalling one-fourth of the entire length; head about one-third; thickness rather less than two-thirds of the depth. Mouth rather wide, with the lower jaw longest. The maxillary dilates at its posterior extremity; it reaches to nearly beneath the middle of the orbit, and does not retire beneath the suborbital. In each jaw a band of velutine teeth; above there is an outer row of longer ones in card, and one or two in front on each side still longer resembling small canines; in the lower jaw there are also a few longer ones, of the same character as these last, interspersed at intervals. Tongue free at its extremity, and, as well as the vomer and palatines, without teeth. Eyes rather high in the cheek; their diameter about one-sixth that of the head. The nostrils consist of two small round orifices a little in advance of the eyes, the anterior one covered by a membranous flap. Margin of the suborbital entire. Preopercle finely denticulated on its ascending margin, which is vertical and slightly convex; but the denticulations almost disappear at the angle, and are not visible at all on the basal margin. Opercle triangular, with three flat spines, the middle one longest, beyond which the membrane projects in the form of an angular process to the distance of three lines. Small scales on the cheeks and preopercle; but none on the crown, snout, first suborbital, maxillary, or lower jaw; scales on the opercle larger, equalling those of the body in size. Gill-opening large, with the branchial membrane deeply notched in the middle.

Lateral line following the curvature of the back at one-fourth of the depth. Scales on the body moderately large: one taken from the middle of the side above the lateral line is of a somewhat oblong form, with the free edge rounded and finely ciliated; the basal portion with fourteen slightly converging strić, which form at the hinder margin as many, but not very distinct, crenations.

The dorsal commences above the terminating lobe of the opercle, and reaches to within a short space of the caudal: height of the spinous portion, which, with the exception of the first two spines, is nearly even throughout, about one-third of the depth; soft portion rather higher, with the last two rays but one longest, and forming a point backwards; all the soft rays branched. Anal commencing in a line with the soft portion of the dorsal, and terminating a little before that fin; three spines, the second one-third longer than the first, and a little longer than the third, and much the strongest of all; the soft portion of the anal is similar to that of the dorsal, and terminates in like manner in a point behind. Space between the anal and caudal a little less than one-sixth of the entire length. The caudal appears to have been nearly even, or perhaps slightly rounded, but the rays of all the vertical fins. Pectorals slightly rounded; more than half the length of the head; all the rays with the exception of the first two and the last, branched. Ventrals attached beneath, or perhaps a very little in advance of the pectorals; pointed, with the second soft ray longest. No lengthened scale or process of any kind in the axilla of either ventrals or pectorals; neither are the former fastened to the abdomen by a membrane half their own length, as is the case in many of the Serrani.

Colour. ‘Pale yellowish brown, with numerous transverse bars, of which the upper part is reddish black, the lower vermilion red; gill-covers, head, and fins, tinted with the same.’ -D. Mr. Darwin has not noticed some small round black spots surrounded by a white border, and having an ocellated appearance, which are very evident on the upper half of the soft portion of the dorsal: there is a faint indication of similar spots on the anal and caudal.

Habitat, Chatham Island, Galapagos Archipelago.

Mr. Darwin obtained one specimen only of this new genus at Chatham Island in the Galapagos Archipelago. It is probably not full-sized.

 

 

PRISTIPOMA CANTHARINUM. Jen.

PLATE X

P. caeruleo-argenteum, operculo nigro-marginato: pinnâ dorsali subaequali, spinis ultimis radiis articulatis paulo brevioribus; anali spinâ secundâ forti, longitudinaliter striatâ, radiis articulatis, duodecim: preoperculo rectangulato, margine adscendenti, leviter denticulato, basali integro: vertice buccis, et ossibus opercularibus, squamatis; rostro ultrŕ nares, suborbitalibus, et maxillis, nudis; squamis corporis ciliatis: pinna caudali furcatâ

B. 7; D. 12/15; A. 3/12; C. 17, et 4 breviores; P. 20; V. 1/5

Long. unc. 10. lin. 11

Form. Form oblong-oval, much resembling that of the Cantharus griseus. Body compressed, with the dorsal line slightly curved; the profile descending from the nape more obliquely, and in a very regular manner. Greatest depth beneath the commencement of the first dorsal, contained not quite three times and three quarters in the entire length: head rather less than one-fourth of the length. Mouth protractile, but not wide, the commissure not extending to a vertical from the anterior angle of the eye; when closed, the maxillary retires beneath the suborbital, and only just the extremity remains visible. Jaws equal; in each a narrow band of velutine teeth, the outer row somewhat longer than the others, particularly above, where they approach to card. Tongue, palatines, and vomer smooth. Eyes moderate; their diameter rather less than one-fifth of the length of the head; rather nearer the extremity of the snout than the posterior margin of the opercle; the distance between them equalling twice their diameter. Two small pores and a fossule beneath the symphysis of the lower jaw, the latter very distinct. Preopercle rectangular, the angle somewhat rounded; the ascending margin nearly straight and finely denticulated, but the denticulations hardly continued to the angle, and not appearing at all on the basal margin. opercle with two small flat points, but very indistinct and almost lost in the membrane. Suborbitals large, with their lower margins entire. Crown, cheeks, and pieces of the gill-cover, covered with small scales; but not the snout in advance of the nostrils and eyes, nor suborbitals, nor lower jaw. Suprascapulars marked by a large scale, the margin of which is nearly entire.

Lateral line following the curvature of the back at one-third of the depth; each scale marked with an elevated line without ramifications. A scale taken from above the lateral line is of a somewhat rhomboidal form; the free portion very finely striated, with the margin finely ciliated; the concealed portion with eight or nine deeper and more distinct strić, not meeting in the centre to form a fan, and with the basal margin crenated. The scales on the cheeks and opercle are smaller than those on the body, and almost smooth.

The dorsal fin commences in a line with the posterior margin of the opercle, and extends nearly the whole length of the back, rising from a groove as in the Sparidae: its height on the whole tolerably uniform throughout: spinous portion occupying more than half the fin; the anterior spines gradually increasing in length to the fourth,22 which equals rather more than one-third of the depth; the succeeding ones nearly even, very gradually decreasing to the last, which is about two-thirds the length of the fourth; all the spines moderately stout: soft portion of the fin even, and rather higher than the last spine. Anal commencing in a line with the third soft ray of the dorsal, and terminating opposite to that fin: the first spine short, but strong; second and third spines equal in length, being about two-thirds the length of the soft rays, but the second much stouter than the third; the second spine is also distinguished from the others by having its surface longitudinally striated: soft rays nearly even, and resembling those of the dorsal. Caudal forked, with the upper lobe a trifle longer than the lower; the basal half covered with minute scales. Pectorals narrow and pointed, about two-thirds the length of the head, with a small fold of loose skin in their axillć. Ventrals placed a little further back than the pectorals, and somewhat shorter; a long pointed scale in their axillć, nearly one-third their length.

Colour. ‘Bluish silvery.’ - D. The colour, as it appears in spirit, is nearly uniform bluish grey, and very similar to that of the Cantharus griseus . The gill-cover has a dusky edging posteriorly.

Second specimen. Smaller than the above, and not quite so deep in the body; the greatest depth contained a trifle more than four times in the entire length; the nape in consequence less elevated, and the profile less oblique. Eyes relatively a little larger, their diameter rather more than one-fifth the length of the head. Preopercle with the posterior margin not so rectilineal, approaching to concave; the angle at bottom projecting in consequence a little backwards; the denticulations not quite so distinct and regular. One ray more in the soft dorsal.

22The third spine is broken, and may have been as long as the fourth.

 

D. 12/16; A. 3/12; C. 17, etc.; P. 19; V. 1/5

Long. unc. 9. lin. 2

Colour. ‘Silvery: above, shaded with brown and iridescent with blue; fins and iris sometimes edged with blackish brown. Flap of the gill-cover edged with black.’ - D.

Habitat, Galapagos Archipelago.

This species, which is undoubtedly new, may be known from most of those described by Cuvier and Valenciennes by its greater number of soft rays in the anal fin. The only ones which equal it in this respect are the P. conceptionis and the P. fasciatum ; from the former of which it may be distinguished by its greater depth and nearly even dorsal, from the latter by its plain colour free from all conspicuous bands and markings. The dorsal notch is scarcely observable, the eleventh and twelfth spines being nearly equal, and but little shorter than the first soft ray. Its analogy to the genus Cantharus among the Sparidae , which it resembles as well in colour as in general form, is very striking. There are two specimens in the collection; the one described first above having been taken at Chatham Island, the other at Charles Island, in the Galapagos Archipelago.


plate 10

 

 

1. LATILUS JUGULARIS. Val.

Latilus jugularis, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. ix , p. 369, pl. 279.

Form. Elongated, with the dorsal line slightly curved, the ventral nearly straight. Greatest depth contained five times and one-third in the entire length. Head, which much exceeds the depth, four times in the same. Profile very convex above the eyes, whence it falls obliquely to the lips. Snout thick and rounded, resembling that of the Red Mullet: mouth proctractile, horizontal, placed at the bottom of the snout, the commissure just reaching to a vertical from the anterior part of the orbit. Jaws equal or very nearly so; the lower one perhaps a very little the longest. Maxillary not widening at its posterior extremity. A band of velutine teeth in each jaw, narrowing at the sides as it extends backwards; with an outer row of longer and stronger ones: in the lower jaw, the velutine band does not extend beyond the middle of the sides, the carding teeth being all that are visible. Tongue and palate smooth. Eyes high in the cheeks; large, and of an oval form; their vertical diameter three-fourths of their longitudinal; this last equalling one-fourth the length of the head. Nostrils consisting of two round apertures, the posterior one largest, the anterior covered by a membranous flap. Preopercle with the denticles far apart, and not very obvious, unless the skin be dissected off; the ascending margin rectilineal in a flat point, above which are two other smaller points not so well developed; all the points concealed in the membrane, and scarcely visible from without: beneath the principal point, the membrane is prolonged backwards in the form of a broad flattened bristly point three lines in length. Crown, gill-covers and cheeks, scaly, but not the jaws; snout scaly, except near the lips. Gill-opening large.

Lateral line at first at one-third of the depth, but falling gradually to one half. Scales rather small; one taken from immediately above the lateral line of an oblong form, the length being twice the breadth, with its free margin finely ciliated, crenated behind with a fan of nine strić; on scales taken from the other parts the number of strić in the fan are more numerous.

One long dorsal fin of nearly uniform height throughout, equalling about half the depth; only four slender spines, gradually increasing in length from the first which is very short; the fourth about three-fourths the length of the first soft ray; soft rays increasing likewise very gradually to the fourth, which with the next five or six are highest; the membrane of the fin very delicate; all the soft rays branched. Vent in a vertical line with the ninth soft ray of the dorsal. Anal commencing immediately behind it, and answering to that portion of the dorsal to which it is opposite, terminating at the same distance from the caudal; only two slender spines, the first very short; the first soft ray simple, the rest branched. Space between these two fins and the caudal barely one-eighth of the entire length. Caudal nearly even. Pectorals moderately long and narrow, equalling nearly the length of the head; rays branched; fourth, fifth, and sixth longest. Ventrals a little in advance of the pectorals, nearly equalling them in length; of a pointed form, with the third and fourth soft rays longest. In the axilla of the pectorals a vertical membranaceous lamina.

B. 6; D. 4/28; A. 2/22; C. 17; P. 20; V. 1/5

Length 11 inc. 5 lines

Colour. (In spirits.) Dusky olive on the back and upper part of the sides, yellowish (probably silvery in the recent state) beneath, with faint indications of five or six dark transverse bands, similar to those in the common perch. Inside of the ventrals blue.

Second specimen. Smaller than the above, measuring six inches and a half in length, but differing from it in no respect, as regards form, excepting in having the profile not so oblique, and the snout in consequence not so obtuse; the jaws also are exactly equal. Fin-ray formula the same.

Colour. ‘Beneath brilliant white; head and back clouded with purplish and carmine red; longitudinal and transverse irregular bands of the same.’ - D. The bands in this specimen amount to eight in number, and are much more conspicuous than in the larger one above described.

Habitat, Valparaiso, Chile.

The smaller of the two specimens above described was taken by Mr. Darwin at Valparaiso. The number attached to the larger one has been lost, but it was probably taken at the same place, where it had been previously described by Valenciennes has one soft ray more in the dorsal, and one less in the anal, than either of the above; but in all other respects they tally exactly. As observed in the Histoire des Poissons , this species has many points of resemblance to Percis and Pinguipes.

 

2. LATILUS PRINCEPS. Jen.

PLATE XI

L. elongatus; corporis altitudine capitis longitudinem aequanti; dentibus velutinis, serie externâ fortiori, aculeiformi; preoperculo margine adscendenti recto, leviter denticulato, basali lćvi; operculo mucrone unico; rostro, ossibus suborbitalibus, maxillis, limbo preoperculi, et interoperculo, nudis; buccis et cranio squamatis, squamis in vertice spatium angulatum inter oculos occupantibus; pinnis dorsali analique prćlongis; spinis analibus parvis, gracilibus, primâ minutissimâ; ventralibus accuratč thoracicis; caudali emarginatâ

B. 5?; D. 8/26; A. 2/26; C. 15, etc.; P. 18 vel 19; V. 1/5

Long. unc. 20. lin. 6

Form. Elongated; the greatest depth equalling the length of the head, and each contained rather more than four times and a half in the entire length. Snout short and rather obtuse, the profile bending downwards in a curve before the eyes. Mouth nearly horizontal, at the bottom of the snout; when closed, the maxillary, which is not widened at its posterior extremity, and which is very similar in form to that of the last species, reaches nearly, but not quite, to a vertical from the anterior part of the orbit. Lower margin of the suborbital entire. Teeth forming a velutine band in each jaw, widest in front, with a row of stronger ones externally: none on the tongue, vomer, or palatines. Eyes large, and high in the cheeks; their diameter one-fifth the length of the head. Preopercle with the angle at bottom rounded; the ascending margin straight, and nearly but not quite vertical, forming with the basal rather more than a right angle; the former finely denticulated, but not the latter. Opercle terminating in one flat point, not projecting beyond the membrane. The branchiostegous rays appear to be but five in number, but, the skin being dry, there may possibly be a sixth overlooked. Cranium, cheeks, and opercle scaly; but not the snout or jaws, or limb of the preopercle, or interopercle: the scales on the crown are separated from the naked skin of the snout by a well-defined line, which forms an advancing angle between the eyes.

Lateral line straight, and continued to the base of the caudal; its course parallel to the back at between one-fourth and one-third of the depth. Scales on the body rather small, oblong, longer than broad, with their free extremities dotted and finely dilated; the concealed portion striated finely at the sides, and more deeply at the base; but all the central portion, including an oblong area of the same form as the entire scale, without strić, being only very minutely roughened or punctured.

One long dorsal, low, and of nearly uniform height throughout, commencing about in a line with the insertion of the pectorals, and reaching very nearly to the caudal: eight spines, rather slender, and very gradually increasing in length, the last being just twice the length of the first and equalling the distance from the base of the fin to the lateral line: the soft rays which follow are nearly even with the last of the spinous till the twenty-fourth, which is slightly prolonged in a point, and which is followed by two others shorter than the rest; the ends of the rays are rather worn, but they appear to have been all branched. Anal also long, commencing at about the middle of the entire length, or in a line with the sixth soft ray of the dorsal, and terminating opposite to that fin, to the last half of which, or rather more than half, it exactly answers; only two spines, which are so slender and minute, especially the first, and so closely united to each other as well as to the first soft ray, as to be scarcely obvious except upon dissection; all the soft rays, except the first, branched. Space between the anal and caudal not a tenth part of the whole length. Caudal slightly notched, or hollowed out, with rows of scales between the rays. Pectorals pointed, about three-fourths the length of the head, with the seventh and eighth rays longest; rows of scales at the base between the rays: in their axillć a somewhat projecting vertical scale or lamina, as in the species. Ventrals immediately beneath the pectorals, also pointed, but shorter.

Colour. ‘Above, and the fins, obscure greenish; sides obscure coppery, passing on the belly into salmon-colour. Pectorals edged with dull blue. Iris yellowish brown: pupil black-blue.’

- D. The skin has dried to a nearly uniform brown.

Habitat, Chatham Island, Galapagos Archipelago.

I feel but little hesitation in referring this species, which is one of the many new ones obtained by Mr. Darwin in the Galapagos Archipelago, to the genus Latilus . The absence of vomerine and palatine teeth requires it to be placed, according to Cuvier's views, among the Sciaenidae; in which family, there is no other group besides Latilus, to which it makes any approach. It agrees with that genus in its general form, and in many of its particularities; it has the same form of snout, mouth, maxillary, and dentition; the same scaly lamina in the axilla of the pectorals; the same long undivided dorsal and anal fins, with only two very small anal spines, so closely united to the first soft ray as to be easily overlooked. But it may be at once distinguished from the L. argentatus and the L. doliatus, the only two species described by Cuvier and Valenciennes in the body of their work, by its much more numerous soft rays in the dorsal and anal fins. From the L. jugularis last described, which resembles it in this respect, it differs in its thoracic ventrals, shorter head, naked snout and suborbital, and notched caudal: the profile also falls less obliquely. There is only one specimen in the collection, a dried skin and rather injured.

HELIASES CRUSMA. Val.

Heliases crusma, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. ix , p. 377.

Form. Oval, very much compressed. Back considerably elevated, particularly at the nape, whence the profile descends very obliquely, and, with the exception of a slight concavity before the eyes, in nearly a straight line. Greatest depth at the commencement of the dorsal, equalling nearly half the entire length, caudal excluded. Head contained four and a half times in the same. Snout shore: mouth small, a little protractile: lower jaw rather the longest. A narrow band of velutine teeth in each jaw, with the outer row in fine card; these last longest and strongest in front. Eyes large; their diameter nearly one-third the length of the head. Suborbitals forming a narrow curved band beneath the eyes, and covered by a row of scales. Nostrils with only a single, small, round aperture. Preopercle with the ascending margin vertical, not quite rectilineal, inclining slightly inwards towards the angle, which is rounded. Opercle, taken together with the subopercle, very regularly curved, the margin describing nearly a semicircle, with one flat point to terminate the osseous portion; its height double its length.

The whole of this fish, including every part of the head, except the lips and maxillary, is covered with scales, which extend on to the vertical fins as in Glyphisodon: those on the fins and upper part of the head and snout are very small, but those on the gill-covers and body very large: about twenty-six or twenty-seven in a longitudinal line from the gill to the base of the caudal, and fourteen or fifteen in a vertical line: one taken from about the middle of the side is oblong, the breadth exceeding the length, with the anterior margin rounded, and the free portion finely dotted and very minutely ciliated, the concealed portion cut square, with a fan of eight or ten strić not meeting at the centre, and terminating at the basal margin in as many crenations. The lateral line commences at one-fourth of the depth, but, from the fall of the dorsal line posteriorly, the distance between these two lines diminishes as the former advances: the lateral line terminates beneath the soft portion of the dorsal fin altogether.

Fins almost exactly similar to those of the Glyphisodon saxatilis and Heliase insolatus , as described and figured in the Histoire des Poissons . The fourth and fifth spines in the dorsal longest, equalling one-fourth of the depth; of the soft rays the third, fourth, and fifth are longest. First anal spine only one-third the length of the second, which is itself rather shorter than the soft rays; and these last appear longer than in the H. insolatus. Caudal more forked than crescent-shaped, the depth of the fork equalling nearly half the length of the fin, which is itself one-fourth the entire length of the fish. Axillary scales of the pectorals and ventrals as in H. insolatus.

B. 6; D. 13/12; A. 2/12; C. 15, & 4 short; P. 21; V. 1/5

Length 8 inches

Colour. ‘Above lead-colour, beneath paler.’ - D. In spirits, it appears of a deep brownish olive on the back and upper part of the sides, passing into dull golden yellow on the lower part of the sides and abdomen, where, however, the scales are still faintly edged with the former colour. Fins dark.

Habitat, Valparaiso, Chile.

This species, as M. Valenciennes observes, is so extremely similar to the H. insolatus, that at first sight, it would hardly be distinguished from it. The only differences appear to consist in the form of the caudal, which is forked, not crescent-shaped as in the species just mentioned, and in the greater length of the soft rays of the anal. In the figure of H. insolatus in the Histoire des Poissons, these rays are represented of the same length as the second spine, whereas in the present species they rather exceed it, giving a greater depth to the entire fin. The teeth also would seem to be more developed in the H. crusma , especially those in front, which are longer than the others. According to Valenciennes, the outer row hardly exceeds the inner ones in the H. insolatus. The geographical position of the two species is however widely different. The H. insolatus is a native of the Caribbean Seas; whereas the H. crusma has only been obtained on the coast of Chile and off the island of Juan Fernandez. M. Gay first obtained it at Valparaiso, where also Mr. Darwin's specimen was procured; in whose notes it is stated, that it gets to a much larger size than the one here described.


plate 11

 

 

FAMILY: SPARIDAE

CHRYSOPHRYS TAURINA. Jen.

PLATE XII

C. albida, quatuor fasciis interruptis nigro-fuscis; pinnis dorsali, caudali, et ventralibus, clarč cćruleo-marginatis: dentibus anticis conicis, in maxillâ superiore octo, in inferiore decem minoribus; molaribus suprŕ seriebus tribus, intermediâ minori, infrŕ duâbus dispositis; preoperculo et operculo, utroque quator squamarum seriebus tecto; limbo preoperculi nudo

D. 12/12; A. 3/10; C. 17, etc.; P. 15; V. 1/5

Long. unc. 14

Form. General form not very dissimilar to that of the C. aurata . Greatest depth contained about three times and a half in the entire length. Depth and length of the head equal, each about one-fourth of the entire length. Profile very oblique. Ey es high, and moderately large, distant two diameters from the end of the snout. Preopercle with the angle at bottom very much in advance, giving an obliquity to the ascending margin; the limb not very broad, and naked; in front of the limb are about four rows of scales smaller than those on the body: the same number of rows of scales on the opercle. Jaws equal, with eight conical incisors in front of the upper one, and ten in front of the lower;23 those above longer than those below, and more regularly and closely set: behind the incisors above and below is a patch of fine card: then follow the molars, which are in three very regular rows above and two below; of the three rows above the inner and outer ones are much the strongest, containing each about eight teeth; those in the outer row are slightly pointed, and not very unequal in size, but the inner series enlarge very rapidly as they extend backwards, the last two or three being of considerable size; all round or nearly so, there being no large oval one at the back, as in the C. aurata and some other species; the middle series above consists of teeth much smaller than the others, and more numerous: the two rows below are not very dissimilar to the inner and outer rows above. Suborbital broad, and naked, covering a large portion of the cheek.

Scales on the body of a moderate size; too much injured and displaced in this specimen to admit of the exact number being counted in a longitudinal row; those on the lateral line, however, are all perfect and present to within five rays of the end of the dorsal, and up to that point they amount to thirty-one. The fins, so far as can be judged from their present state, are on the whole very similar to those of the other species; but the dorsal and anal spines, especially the second anal spine, appear rather stronger than those of the C. aurata. Pectorals long and narrow, contained about three times and three quarters in the entire length.

23 There are actually nine, but one appears to have been lost.


 

Colour. ‘White, with four dark brown much interrupted bands, giving a mottled appearance; head coloured with the same; top of the head, ridge of the back, edges of the dorsal, caudal and ventral fins, tinted with fine azure blue.’ - D.

Habitat, Chatham Islands, Galapagos Archipelago.

Mr. Darwin's collection contains a single specimen of a species of Chrysophrys from the Galapagos Archipelago, not in a sufficiently good state of preservation to admit of a very detailed description being given of it, but nevertheless, evidently distinct from any that I can find recorded by authors. It appears to belong to Cuvier's second section of this genus characterized by the absence of any large oval molar behind the others, though the last two or three in the inner series above are of considerable size. It differs, however, from all those described in the Histoire des Poissons , in having the conical incisors more numerous, and but three rows of molars in the upper jaw. The specimen also is of sufficient size to lead to the belief, that it would not have acquired any additional ones by further growth. The C. aculeata resembles it, indeed, in this last character, but independently of other differences, this species is said to have a reclined spine before the dorsal fin which is not present in the one here described.

Out of the twenty-two species of this genus described in the Histoire des Poissons, only one is from the Pacific Ocean, whence the present species was brought. The greater number are from the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.