Olive-brown: four barbules on the snout; and one at the symphysis of the lower jaw.
M. Mustela, Nilss. Prod. Ichth. Scand. p. 49. Gadus Mustela, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 440. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. i. pl. 14. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 92. Flem. Brit. An. p. 193. Five-bearded Cod, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 202. pl. 33. no. 88. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. in. p. 268. pl. 36.
About the same as that of the last species.
(Form). Differs from the last species, which it closely resembles, in having two additional barbules, rather shorter than the other ones, at the extremity of the upper lip: head shorter: upper jaw more projecting: teeth not quite so strongly developed: eyes smaller: all the fins similar, but the first ray of the first dorsal much longer and stouter with relation to the other rays in that fin: number of fin-rays,
2nd D. 51; A. 43; C. 24, &c; P. 16; V. 7; the dorsal and anal always containing fewer than in the M. tricirratusy by about five rays. (Colours). Back and sides deep olive-brown, sometimes inclining to green; generally without spots : belly whitish, tinged with silvery.
Much more abundant than the M. tricirrata, and met with on most parts of the British coast. By Willughby, the two species were considered simply as varieties of one, which he describes under the general name of Mustela vulgaris *. Some modern authors, amongst whom may be reckoned Mr. Couch †, are inclined to the same opinion.