Lateral line smooth: pectorals very large, reaching beyond the ventrals: spine on the opercle scarcely projecting beyond the membrane.
T. Hirundo, Bloch, Ichth. pl. 60. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. i. pl. 1. T. laevis, Mont, in Wern. Mem. vol. ii. p. 455. Mem. Brit. An. p. 214. Tub-Fish, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 280. tab. P. 4. Sapphirine Gurnard, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 280. pl. 56. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. in. p. 376. pl. 68. Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 41. Le Perlon, Cuv. et Val. Poiss. torn. iv. p. 29. Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 159.
From eighteen to twenty-five inches.
(Form). Somewhat resembling the T. Pini in its general proportions, but thicker in the body, and broader across the head and snout: inclination of the profile the same: eyes much smaller; the space between them broader and not so much hollowed out: cheeks smoother: snout more emarginated, with three or four rather blunt denticulations on each side: gape more capacious: supra-scapulars triangular, the terminating spine rather more pointed: the opercular and clavicular spines preserve the same proportions, the former scarcely projecting beyond the membrane: lateral line straight, slender, and almost perfectly smooth, like the rest of the body with the exception of the dorsal ridges, which are strongly serrated: spines in the first dorsal not so strong as in the T. Pini; the first with very obsolete denticulations; the second scarcely longer than the adjoining ones, and equalling not above two-thirds of the depth of the body: pectorals contained three times and a half in the whole length: number of fin rays,
D.9 - 16; A. 16; C 11 or 13; P. 10, and 3; V. 1/5: scales very small, oval, smooth, entire; those on the lateral line scarcely projecting beyond the others. Number of vertebrae thirty-three or thirty-four. (Colours). General colour of the head and body brownish red, here and there faintly tinged with yellowish green: pectorals bluish green on their inner surface, edged and spotted with bright blue; on their outer surface brownish red with the rays whitish: first dorsal reddish; second, as well as the anal and ventrals, nearly white.
Common on the southern and western coasts, attaining a larger size than any other British species, the T. Lyra excepted. Is sometimes called a Tub-Fish. According to Mr. Couch, "sheds its spawn about Christmas." Obs. Linnaeus and Pennant have erroneously attributed to this species a rough lateral line, a circumstance which appears to have misled Montagu, when he established a second under the name of T. Icevis. All the individuals which have fallen under my notice have had this part perfectly smooth, neither does Cuvier seem at all aware of there being any allied species in which it is otherwise.