BATRACHUS POROSISSIMUS. Cuv. et Val.?
Batrachus porosissimus, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. xii , p. 373.
Form. Head very large, broad and depressed, exactly one-fourth of the entire length; its breadth two-thirds of its own length. Body compressed posteriorly, with its greatest depth about one-sixth of the entire length. Snout blunt and rounded, the lower jaw projecting; gape wide. The teeth above form but a single row along the intermaxillary, mostly small, but sharp, and the posterior ones much curved: along each palatine there is a row of much stronger ones, and at each angle of the vomer are two very long hooked ones, resembling true canines. In the lower jaw the teeth are in a single row at the sides, but in two or three rows in front, and are unequally sized, some of the lateral ones being as strong as those on each side of the vomer, and much hooked, as well as partially reclining backwards. Tongue smooth, and free at the tip, which is bluntish. Pharynx armed with two patches of velutine teeth above and below. No regular barbule at the chin, but a row of minute cutaneous cirri running all round the edge of the lower jaw; a similar row along the anterior edge of the upper jaw, behind the intermaxillary, with two thicker and more conspicuous appendages of the skin in the middle. Eyes far apart, and not very large. Opercle armed with one very strong spine, but only just the point appearing through the skin.
Two small spines in front of the dorsal, a little more backwards than the insertion of the pectorals, the first very minute, and hardly appearing through the skin. Second or true dorsal very long, reaching to the base of the caudal, and of nearly uniform height throughout, equalling about one-third of the greatest depth of the body; the rays branched, and the membrane notched between their tips. Anal commencing under the fifth dorsal ray, similar to that fin, but with the membrane more notched between the rays: both fins are fastened down at their extremities to the fleshy part of the tail by a membrane. Caudal slightly rounded, when spread. Pectorals broad and large, but, from the middle rays being longest, appearing somewhat wedge-shaped, not quite equalling the length of the head. Ventrals much smaller, only half their length, and cut nearly square.
Skin perfectly naked. The lines of pores, which are very numerous about the head and body, run in the exact directions laid down by Cuvier and Valenciennes, in their description of the B. porosissimus; but in addition to those which have been pointed out by them, there is one commencing at the nostrils, and passing underneath each eye, thence ascending a little behind the eye to descend again by the margin of the preopercle; another directed transversely across the cheek, connecting the former with the row that passes along the edge of the lower jaw: this transverse row, if continued upwards, would form a tangent to the posterior part of the orbit. All the lines of pores are furnished with very minute cutaneous appendages, similar to those already spoken of above, as fringing the edges of the jaws.
B. 2-36; A. 33; C. 12, etc.; P. 20; V. 1/2
Length 9 inches
Colour. ‘Above purple-coppery; sides pearly; beneath yellowish, with silver dots in regular figures; iris coppery.’ - D. The silver dots alluded to by Mr. Darwin, are the lines of pores. There are two longitudinal dark lines of the dorsal, the uppermost serving as an edging: the anal also is edged in the same manner, especially posteriorly.
Habitat, Bahia Blanca.
This species was found by Mr. Darwin cast up on the beach at Bahia Blanca, where he states that it is not uncommon. It approaches so closely the B. porosissimus of Cuvier and Valenciennes, that I dare not consider it as distinct without comparison. Yet it differs from their description of that species, in having four vomerine teeth, instead of two; in having six more rays in the anal fin; and in having the additional lines of pores above indicated; though these last may have been accidentally left unnoticed. It requires the examination of more specimens to determine whether these differences result from a difference in species or not.
COSSYPHUS DARWINI. Jen.
C. corpore elongato-ovali; capite grandi, fronte elevato, rostro ex hoc declivi: caninis quatuor fortibus ad apicem utriusque maxillae, ad angulos oris nullis; dentibus lateralibus conicis; interiůs, ad latera palati, granis plurimis minutis obtusis: preoperculo, limbo excepto, operculo, et interoperculo, squamatis; preoperculo margine integro: rostro, maxillis, et suborbitalibus ante oculos, nudis: lineâ laterali subrectâ: pinnâ dorsali parte spinosâ humili, spinis ad apices laciniatis; molli, heic respondente anali, duplň altiore, subacuminatâ: caudali aequali, solům radiis exterioribus aliis paulo longioribus
D. 12/10; A. 3/12; C. 14, etc.; P. 17; V. 1/5
Long. unc. 19
Form. Head large: body of a suboval form, but much elongated: greatest depth at the nape contained about four times and three quarters in the entire length: head not quite three times and three quarters in the same. Nape and forehead high, whence the profile descends obliquely in a straight line to the end of the snout. Jaws equal, and rather acute: lips fleshy: the end of the maxillary not quite reaching to a vertical line from the anterior margin of the orbit. Four very conspicuous, strong, curved, canine teeth at the anterior extremity of each jaw: those above of nearly equal length, but the two middle ones rather longer and stouter than the other two; of those below, on the contrary, the outer ones are the longest, as well as strongest, being nearly twice as much developed as the middle ones, which last are of about the same length as, but rather slenderer than, the outer ones above. The teeth at the sides of the jaw are short and conical, and not very sharp pointed, forming a regular series; below they amount to nine or ten on each side; above, the series may have been originally of the same number, but in this specimen several appear wanting. Besides these conical teeth at the sides of the jaws, there is an inner band of small rounded grains about the size of pins' heads: the band is broader, and the grains larger and more distinct above than below: many of them appear much flattened, and as if grown down by use. Eyes of moderate size; their diameter about one-seventh the length of the head; rather high in the cheeks, and nearly equidistant from the end of the snout and the posterior angle of the opercle. Snout and suborbital in advance of the eyes, as well as the jaws, naked. Preopercle large; occupying the posterior half of the cheek, rectangular, but the angle at bottom much rounded, the ascending margin vertical, both margins entire; covered with small scales: the limb rather broad, bounded internally by a slightly raised ridge, and without scales, but with a few scattered small pores. The opercle and subopercle form together an irregular oblong, of which the height is double the length; both are covered with scales larger than those on the preopercle: the membrane terminates behind in a blunt angle. The interopercle, which is very distinct, has three rows of scales on its surface, but none on the margin.
The lateral line is nearly straight throughout its course, the bend downwards beneath the termination of the dorsal fin being scarcely perceptible. The tubes of which it is composed are unbranched; many of them, however, incline upwards at their posterior extremity towards the back. The scales on the body are rather larger than those on the opercle: there appear to be upwards of fifty in a longitudinal line. The free portion of each scale has its surface finely granulated in the middle, and striated at the sides.
The dorsal commences rather before one-third of the entire length, excluding caudal, and occupies a space equalling nearly half the same; the spinous portion is low, and the spines of nearly the same length, the first and second only being rather shorter than the succeeding ones; the membrane between the spines notched: the soft portion rather pointed, and twice as much elevated as the spinous. The anal commences beneath the eleventh or twelfth dorsal spine, and terminates in the same vertical line with that fin; the soft portion, which answers to the soft portion of the dorsal, is preceded by three spines, increasing in length to the third, which is double the first, though itself not above half the length of the soft rays; these spines are not particularly stout. The space between the anal and caudal equals one-sixth of the whole length. Caudal rays nearly even, with the exception of the two outermost above and below, which being rather longer than the others, give the fin a slightly crescent-shaped form: the base of the caudal is scaly, but the scales advance only a very little way between the rays. Pectorals very little in advance of the ventrals, in length more than half that of the head, with the second, third and fourth rays longest. Ventrals in an exact vertical line with the commencement of the dorsal, nearly equal to the pectorals, with the first and second soft rays longest; the spine rather more than half the length of the first soft ray; the last soft ray united to the body by a membrane.
Colours. ‘Centre of each scale pale vermilion red: lower jaw quite white: a large irregular patch above the pectoral bright yellow: iris red, pupil blue-black.’ - D. The dried skin in its present state is of a nearly uniform brown.
Habitat, Chatham Island, Galapagos Archipelago.
I have named this species in honour of Mr. Darwin, whose researches in the Galapagos Archipelago, where he obtained it, have been so productive in bringing to light new forms. I have referred it to the genus Cossyphus of Valenciennes, on account of the small rounded grains behind the principal teeth; but it rather departs from that group in not having the preopercle denticulated, and in having no scales on any of the vertical fins, with the exception of a few at the base of the caudal. In some respects it seems intermediate between that genus and Labrus. It does not appear to be described, though it seems to approach the C. reticulatus of Valenciennes in many of its characters. That species however is from Japan.
The canines at the anterior extremity of each jaw are very conspicuous in this fish, and give it a first sight much the appearance of a Dentex.
CHEILIO RAMOSUS. Jen.
C. nigro-fuscus, intrŕ lineam lateralem et in ventre obscurč argenteus; pinnis pallidč fuscis immaculatis: corpore valde elongato: dentibus in maxillâ superiore duobus anticis caninis fortibus, lateralibus conicis parvis subaequalibus; in inferiore, caninis parvis, lateralibus variis inaequalibus: lineâ laterali ramosâ
B. 6: D. 9/13; A. 3/12; C. 12, et 4 breviores; P. 11; V. 1/5
Long. unc. 9. lin. 6
Form. Very much elongated, with the dorsal and ventral lines nearly straight. Depth varying but little, and contained nine and a half times in the entire length; thickness not quite three-fourths of the depth. head elongated, contained not more than three and a half times in the entire length, compressed, with the cheeks vertical. Snout very much produced, slightly rounded at the extremity: gape reaching half way to beneath the middle of the eye. Jaws scarcely protractile; the upper one a little the longest: lip reflexed in the form of membranaceous flaps, especially the lower one, the margin of which is sinuous. Teeth ranged in a single row in each jaw. Those above form a numerous, close-set, nearly even series at the sides of the haw, with two long hooked canines in front; the lateral teeth amount to about thirty-five on each side, and are small, but strong, somewhat conical, and not very sharp-pointed. In the lower jaw there are two front canines, similar to those in the upper, but much smaller; then follow four short conical teeth; then six large triangular, compressed, sharp-pointed ones, but not all of equal size; then five more small conical ones, which complete the series on each side. No teeth on the vomer or palatines. Eyes of moderate size, situate in the middle of the length of the head, high, but not touching the line of the profile; their diameter one-eight the length of the head. Preopercle rectangular. Opercle triangular, the membrane produced posteriorly at the upper part in the form of a rounded angle: a short row of scales observable along its upper margin, and another along its lower. Subopercle and interopercle without scales. Also a short row of scales, similar to those on the opercle, behind and partially beneath each eye, and, with these exceptions, no other scales on the head. Above each eye is an irregular row of minute pores: there are also pores beneath the eye, and on the sides of the snout, mixed with short raised lines having somewhat the appearance of written characters. Gill-opening widely cleft; the branchial membrane free all round.
Scales on the body moderately large, and similar in form to those of the C. auratus , as described by Cuvier and Valenciennes. The number, in a longitudinal line from the gill to the caudal, is forty-six, in a vertical about seventeen. Lateral line also as in that species, but with the mucous tubes branched, and giving off eight or nine twigs on each side.
The dorsal commences a little behind the terminating angle of the opercle, and the anal immediately beneath the first branched ray of the dorsal: these fins terminate in the same vertical line, and the last ray in each is double: the simple rays are soft and flexible. Caudal slightly rounded. Pectorals short, and obliquely truncated, contained eleven and a half times in the entire length. Ventrals very small, about two-thirds the length of the pectorals, rounded, close together, with an elongated scale between them; their point of insertion slightly backwarder than that of the pectorals.
Colour. Not noticed in the recent state. In spirits, it appears of an almost uniform dark brown, at least above the lateral line. There is some trace of a pale longitudinal band on each side of the head beneath the eye, which is continued, but rather indistinctly, along the whole length of the body, the tips of the scales remaining dark. Possibly during life all the lower part of the sides and belly may have exhibited numerous dark spots upon a pale or silvery ground. Under part of the head pale brown, with some faintly-defined ocellated spots: also a faint trace of red on the opercle. All the fins pale brown, without spots.
This species was given to Mr. Darwin, when at Chiloe, by the surgeon of a whaling-ship, who said that he believed that it was caught in the Japan seas. From the great similarity which prevails among the species of this genus, I am not sure that it is really new, as I have ventured to consider it. The specific character also, so far as the colours are concerned, must be received with some caution, in consequence of these last not having been observed in the recent state. It seems to approach very closely the C. hemichrysos of Cuvier and Valenciennes , brought by MM. Quoy and Gaimard from the Sandwich Islands; but it differs in its colours, especially in the fins being all uniformly pale brown, and in having fewer scales on the opercle, and beneath the eye. It is impossible to say, however, to what extent the colours may have been altered by the spirit: some of the scales also may have been rubbed off.
CHROMIS FACETUS. Jen.
C.supra virescenti-niger, lateribus pallidioribus: dorso modice arcuato; fronte elevato, rostro summo ante oculos paululum excavato: limbo preoprculi poris quatuor conspicuis impresso: squamis latis, marginibus liberis levissime ciliatis: spinis dorsalibus quindecim, analibus sex: pinnis ventralibus longe acuminatis, ad analem pertingentibus: pinnâ caudali subaequali
D. 15/10; A.6/8; C. 16, etc.; P. 14; V. 1/5
Long. unc. 5. lin. 9
Form. Oblong-oval, very much compressed; the back moderately elevated, and more curved than the abdomen. Greatest depth a little behind the insertion of the pectorals, and contained twice and three-quarters in the entire length: thickness about two-fifths of the depth. Forehead high: profile falling very obliquely, and slightly hollowed out in front of the eyes; the upper and under profile meeting at the mouth at nearly a right angle. Head contained not quite four times in the entire length; its own length and height nearly equal. Mouth small, protractile: jaws about equal, the lower one, if anything, a little the longest: lips not very fleshy. Maxillary rather slender, retiring almost entirely, when the mouth is closed, beneath the sub-orbital, the anterior margin of which is slightly hollowed out, and somewhat sinuous. Teeth in card in both jaws, forming a narrow band; the outermost row longer and stronger than the others, especially the four or six middle ones in front, which are somewhat conical and slightly hooked. Pharyngean teeth present, but none on the vomer or palatines. Eyes rather small, their diameter about one-fifth the length of the head; high in the cheeks, and a little nearer to the snout than to the posterior margin of the opercle: the space between broad, equalling nearly two diameters and-a-half. Nostrils consisting of a single round orifice half-way between the eye and the end of the snout. Preopercle with the basal margin short, and forming a slightly obtuse angle with the ascending one, the margin of which is entire. Opercle of a triangular form, broad at top, but narrowing off towards the bottom. Subopercle and interopercle much developed; their outer margins, taken together, rounded off nearly in a semicircle. Branchial membrane quite free all round, unattached to the isthmus, and but slightly emarginate. Snout, suborbital, jaws, and limb of the preopercle, naked; but he cheeks and rest of the opercular pieces scaly: the scales on the subopercle large. Four large pores on the limb of the preopercle, preceded by three others beneath the lower jaw: similar pores beneath the eye, and extending partially round it; one on the crown of the head, and a few smaller ones scattered about the snout; a large one just above the opercle, and another higher up on each side of the nape.
Scales on the body large; about twenty-five or twenty-six in a longitudinal row, and eleven or twelve in the depth; broader than long, with the free edges very minutely ciliated, the concealed portions with fan of thirteen striae, and the basal margins with twelve distinct crenatures. Lateral line interrupted: its first portion at the depth of two and a half rows of scales beneath the dorsal, and stopping beneath the commencement of the soft part of that fin; recommencing three rows lower down, exactly in the middle of the depth, whence it runs straight to the caudal.
Dorsal commencing above the opercle; the spinous portion of nearly uniform height, and scarcely more than one-fifth of the depth; the soft portion much higher, and terminating in a sharp point behind. Anal answering to the posterior half of the dorsal, terminating opposite to it, and similarly pointed; with six spines, which, as well as the dorsal spines, are furnished with very conspicuous filamentous tags. Caudal nearly even. Pectorals rounded, but not very broad, their length rather more than three-fourths that of the head; the rays rather slender. Ventrals pointed; the first soft ray elongated, and reaching to the anal when laid back; the last ray attached at its base by a membrane to the abdomen. Rows of small scales between the rays of the caudal at the base of the fin; and a few small ones along the base of the dorsal and anal, more particularly on the soft portions.
Colour. ‘Above, greenish black; the sides paler; slightly iridescent.’ -D. In spirits it appears of a nearly uniform brown all over, fins included.
Habitat, Maldonado, Rio Plata.
Mr. Darwin obtained this species at Maldonado, in a lake of fresh water, said sometimes to be a little brackish. It appears to belong to the genus Chromis of Cuvier, placed by him amongst the Labridae, but having evidently very strong affinities to some of the Sciaenidae. It differs essentially from the C. brasiliensis of Quoy and Gaimard,32 in having six anal spines, and being destitute of all markings and spots. I am not aware that it is described by any author.
32 Freycinet Voyage (Zoologie), p. 286.
1. SCARUS CHLORODON. Jen.
S. aeruginoso cyaneus, capite et pinnis flavo-vittatis: maxillis exteriůs laevibus, marginibus crenatis; caninis ad angulos oris nullis: fronte gradatim proclivi: lineâ laterali tubis parum ramosis: squamis ubique striato-granulatis: pectoralibus acuminatis, radiis superioribus arcuatis: caudali radiis externis caeteris longioribus, acuminatis
D. 9/10; A. 3/9; C. 13, etc.; P. 15 vel 16; V. 1/5 Long. unc. 16
Form. Of an oval form; the greatest depth one-third of the length, caudal excluded: dorsal and ventral lines equally convex. Head a little less than the depth of the body, not gibbous in front, but with the profile falling regularly and gradually from the commencement of the dorsal. Snout rather pointed. Jaws equal, their outer surface smooth, but crenated on their cutting edges. No spinous canines at the corners of the mouth. Eyes rather small, their diameter not one-fifth the length of the head, situate above the middle of the cheek, but equidistant from the posterior lobe of the opercle and the extremity of the snout. Snout in
front of the eyes, and the lips, naked; but the cheeks and opercular pieces covered with large scales, which form two rows on the cheeks. Opercle terminating behind in a rounded angle. Scales on the body very large; eight in the depth, and twenty-one or twenty-two in the length: the entire exposed portion of each scale scabrous with granulations, which are partially disposed in lines towards the free edges. No scales on the vertical fins. The lateral line occupies the second row of scales from the top, till it reaches a little beyond the end of the dorsal, where it becomes interrupted, recommencing in the fourth row, which at this point is the third: tubal pores in some places ramified, but the ramifications not very distinct.
The dorsal commences above the posterior lobe of the opercle, and is of nearly uniform height throughout. The length of the rays in the soft portion, which is slightly higher than the spinous, is not quite one-third of the depth. The whole length of this fin is half the entire length. The anal answers to the last half of the dorsal, and terminates in the same line; the three spines are slender, and the first very short. Caudal with the central portion slightly convex, but the three outer rays above and below prolonged into a point one-third the length of the whole fin; the lower point a little longer than the upper. Pectorals about one-fifth of the entire length, pointed, with the upper rays arcuate. Ventrals immediately beneath them, one-third shorter.
Colour. ‘Fine verditer blue, with some yellow stripes about the head and fins.’ - D. The dried skin is nearly of a uniform brown, but the snout and cheeks are much varied with green: the haws also are green. A bright green patch in front of the eye, immediately beneath which is a pale fraenum, probably yellow in the recent state. Dorsal and anal green: the former shows some trace of a lighter narrow band running longitudinally below the upper edge of the fin; the latter exhibits a very distinct fascić running along the middle. Caudal pale green, with the upper and lower edges of a much deeper tint. Ventrals in like manner edged with green. Pectorals wholly dusky.
Habitat, Keeling Island, Indian Ocean.
In so extensive a genus as the present, and one in which so much general similarity prevails among the species, the task of determining whether any particular one has been described before is extremely difficult. I can only say that the species which I have here ventured to characterize as new has been carefully compared with the descriptions of all those noticed in the Histoire des Poissons , and though there are several to which it is nearly allied, there is none to which it can be referred with certainty. It seems to approach nearest the S. variegatus , but that species is said to have the caudal square, by which I presume is meant that the upper and under rays are not prolonged into a point, as is the case in so many species of this genus, and in the one here described.
This species was taken by Mr. Darwin at the Keeling Islands.
2. SCARUS GLOBICEPS. Cuv. et Val.
S. globiceps, Cuv. et Val., Hist. des Poiss., tom. xiv , p. 179.
Form. Oblong-oval, very much compressed throughout: the dorsal and ventral lines nearly of equal curvature. Greatest depth contained about three times and one-third in the entire length: thickness twice and three-fifths in the depth. Head one-fourth of the entire length, rather elevated at the nape, the forehead convex, whence the profile descends nearly in the arc of a circle, giving the snout a blunt and rounded appearance. The height of the head, taken in a vertical line through the eyes, equals nearly but not quite its own length. Mouth small, the gape not reaching half-way to the eye. Jaws very slightly crenated on their cutting edges, the true teeth appearing on the outer surface like minute scales. At the posterior angle of each jaw, and on each side, are two sharp canines projecting horizontally from the corners of the mouth, eight in all. Eyes rather small, their diameter contained six-and-a-half times in the length of the head, situate a little above the middle of the cheek, and a trifle nearer the extremity of the snout than the posterior margin of the opercle. The nostrils consist of two minute orifices a little in advance of the eye, and a little distant from each other, the posterior one largest and kidney-shaped, the anterior round and nearly closed by its membranous border. A cluster of minute pores above and behind the eyes, and a few others scattered about the snout.
Scales on the body very large, increasing in size at the base of the caudal, where there are three very large ones covering the rays of that fin for half their length or more: twenty-three in a longitudinal line, and nine in the depth. Each scale of a roundish form anteriorly, the basal portion with a projecting lobe in the middle of the hinder margin, and with thirty-one strić in the fan; the exposed portion finely striated and granulated, with a broad membranaceous border: those on the caudal nearly three times as long as broad, but the ordinary ones with the length and breadth nearly equal. Lateral line interrupted; the upper portion running nearly straight at about one-fourth of the depth, till opposite the end of the dorsal, where it inclines downwards: tubal pores very distinctly ramified.
Dorsal very low, its height, in the middle of its length, being scarcely more than one-eighth of the depth: the soft rays slightly higher than the spinous, and increasing in length backwards. Anal answering to the last half of the dorsal, and terminating in the same line: three spines at its commencement not stouter than the soft rays, the first very small. The last soft ray in both dorsal and anal double. Caudal with the points about one-fourth of the rest of its length; when spread, the interval is rectilineal, but when the rays are closed the whole appears crescent-shaped. Pectorals a little shorter than the head, of a somewhat triangular form, the rays gradually decreasing in length from the uppermost to the lowermost. Ventrals pointed, about two-thirds the length of the pectorals, and immediately beneath them. A large oblong lanceolate scale between the ventrals, nearly half their length: also an oblong scale in the axilla of each, equalling the last of the soft rays.
D. 9/10; A. 3/9; C. 13, etc.; P. 13; V. 1/5
Length 11 inches
Colour. Not noticed in the recent state. In spirits, it appears bluish grey on the back and sides with small round whitish spots, the margin of each scale being defined by a purplish line; paler on the belly: a white transverse line in front of the eyes passing from one to the other; anterior part of the snout, mouth, cheeks, and lower part of the head, yellow white. Dorsal and anal plate, the former with three narrow longitudinal purplish lines, the latter with one. A portion of the under surface of the pectorals, extending from the third to the
fifth ray, and forming a longitudinal fasciae, purple; the rest of those fins, as well as the caudal and ventrals, pale or nearly colourless.
This species was taken by Mr. Darwin at Tahiti. It so nearly answers to the description of the S. globiceps of Valenciennes , brought by MM. Garnot and Lesson from the same locality, that I cannot suppose it to be distinct. This specimen, however, appears to have more spinous teeth at the corners of the mouth.
3. SCARUS LEPIDUS. Jen.
S. fuscus, capite et pinnis purpureo-caerulco tinctis: fronte parum elevato, aeque ac rostro continue et gradatim proclivi; hoc apice obtuso: maxillis exterius laevibus, marginibus vix crenatis; canino ad angulum oris in maxillâ inferiore unico, in superiore nudo: lineâ laterali distinctč ramosâ: pectoralibus subtriangulis: caudali subaequali, radiis externis mediis vix longioribus
D. 9/10; A. 3/9; C. 13, etc.; P. 13; V. 1/5
Long. unc. 8. lin. 7
Form. General form not very dissimilar to that of the last species, but the crown and nape less elevated, whence the profile falls in a more gradual slope: snout, nevertheless, blunt at the extremity. Depth of the body very nearly one-third of the entire length. Head about one-fourth of the same. The height of the head is about four-fifths of its own length. Jaws smooth externally, the true teeth appearing like minute scales on their surface, the cutting edges scarcely at all crenated: only one laterally projecting canine at each corner of the lower jaw, none in the upper. Diameter of the eye one-sixth of the head.
Dorsal not quite so low as in the last species; its height in the middle of its length about one-seventh of the depth. Caudal nearly even, the upper and lower rays being scarcely longer than the others. Pectorals and ventrals similar, but the scale between the latter shorter and more rounded. Scales on the body large, the free portions finely striated and granulated, with a broad membranaceous border: three large ones at the base of the caudal, as in the last species. Lateral line distinctly branched, the ramifications irregular and varying on each scale; in some instances only one long stem extending nearly to the margin of the scale, with one or more lateral twigs; in others, two, three, or even four distinct stems, either simple or ramified.
Colour. (In spirits.) Of a nearly uniform dark brown, with some faint traces of purplish blue about the head and fins, which possibly may have pervaded some parts of the body also in the recent state.
This species was taken with the last, and notwithstanding it presents two or three obvious differences in respect of form, as well as of colour, it is just possible it may be the same in a younger state. I think it not improbable that the points of the caudal may elongate with age, the forehead become more gibbous, and the spinous teeth more numerous. If it be distinct it would seem to be undescribed; though the colours not having been noticed in the recent state renders it difficult to speak with certainty on this point. For the same reason, the specific character may perhaps hereafter be found to require alteration.
4. SCARUS _____?
Mr. Darwin's collection contains another species of Scarus from the Keeling Islands, which may probably be distinct from all those hitherto noticed, but which being in rather a bad state of preservation, I shall content myself with describing as well as I can, without affixing any name to it, lest in the end it prove not new. Many of the species enumerated in the Histoire des Poissons having only their colours noticed, it requires that these should have been observed more in detail than what Mr. Darwin's notes furnish in this instance, in order to decide whether it be identical or not with any of those spoken of in that work.
Form. A tolerably regular oval, somewhat attenuated at each extremity: dorsal and ventral lines of equal curvature. Nape not at all elevated, and the profile on the whole falling very regularly and gradually from thence to the end of the snout, though there is a slight eminence on the forehead. Depth one-fourth of the entire length. Jaws smooth externally, but with the true teeth very distinct upon their surface, and much more so upon their cutting edges than in either of the last two species. One horizontally projecting canine at each corner of the upper jaw, but none in the lower. The terminating lobe of the opercle is slightly emarginated behind, the membrane projecting immediately above the notch in the form of a short salient point. Lateral line interrupted, the upper portion nearly straight, and not inclining downwards at its posterior extremity: the tubes very slightly ramified, and many of them quite simple. The scales on the body are very finely granulated and striated: there are no large ones at the base of the caudal. Dorsal and anal low: height of the former contained four and a half times in the depth of the body, and exactly equalling the distance from the upper edge of the back to the lateral line. Pectorals somewhat triangular, the uppermost ray of all a little arcuate. Scale between the ventrals one-third the length of those fins. Caudal slightly crescent-shaped, when the rays are closed: when spread, all the middle rays appear even, the uppermost and lowermost projecting very slightly beyond them.
D. 9/10; A. 3/9; C. 13, etc.; P. 14; V. 1/5
Length 6 inches
Colour. ‘Body dull reddish and greenish, the colours being blended and mottled: fins banded lengthwise with vermilion-red: head with waving bright green lines.’ - D. No trace of bright colours remains in its present state, and the only indication of markings is a narrow crescent-shaped band across the middle of the caudal.