Body oblong; the eye-side rough, with the scales finely ciliated: gape large; lower jaw longest: first rays in the dorsal fin free, but simple.

P. Megastoma, Don. Brit. Fish. vol. iii. pl. 51. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 97. Mem. Brit. An. p. 196. P. Cardina, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 341. Passer Cornubiensis asper, magno oris hiatu, (A Whiff,) Jago in Rays Syn. Pise. p. 163. fig. 2. Whiff, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 238. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 324. pl. 52. Carter, or Lantern-fish, Couch in Linn. Trans, vol. xiv. p. 78.

Length

From twelve to eighteen inches.

Description

{Form). Body oblong, the tail suddenly contracting before the caudal; thin, and rather pellucid: greatest breadth, dorsal and anal fins excluded, not quite one-third of the entire length: head large, nearly one-fourth of the same: dorsal curve falling regularly to the end of the snout; the profile slightly concave before the eyes: gape extremely large; lower jaw longest, ascending obliquely, furnished with a blunt tubercle beneath the symphysis: both jaws with very fine velvet-like teeth: eyes very large; their diameter at least one-fourth the length of the head; placed on the left side; approximating; the lower one most in advance; between them an osseous ridge, passing upwards behind to unite with the lateral line: gill-opening large; opercle small, of a triangular form; subopercle and interopercle much developed: lateral line very much arched above the pectoral, afterwards straight, and carried on to quite the end of the caudal: scales large; those on the eye-side of the body with their free edges finely ciliated, communicating a roughness to the touch; those on the opposite side smooth, with their margins entire; scales on the lateral line with a slightly elevated oblong tubercle: dorsal commencing about half-way between the extremity of the snout and the upper eye, and carried on very nearly to the caudal; greatest elevation of the fin a little beyond the middle, where it equals one-third of the depth of the body; most of the rays simple, some of the longest only divided at their tips; the first four or five nearly free, the connecting membrane being very low: anal commencing in a line with the posterior lobe of the opercle, and answering to the dorsal; before it a blunt point: caudal oblong, rounded at the extremity, its length rather more than half the depth of the body; all the principal rays, except the two outermost, branched: pectorals inserted a little below the middle of the depth, and in a line with the commencement of the anal; very unequal; that on the eye-side rather more than half the length of the head; the opposite one more than one-third shorter; first ray very short; third and fourth rays longest: ventrals entirely in advance of the pectorals, and appearing like a portion of the anal, only double, from which they are separated by the vent:

B. 7; D. 85; A. 71; C. 15, and 4 short; P. (Left) 12, (Right) 10; V. 6.

{Colours). Upper side light reddish brown, here and there mottled and spotted with dusky and darker brown: under side white.

First observed by Mr. Jago on the coast of Cornwall, where it has been since represented, by Mr. Hanmer and Mr. Couch, as very common. Occasionally met with on other parts of the southern as well as on the western, coast. The specimen from which the above description was taken occurred at Hastings. In Cornwall called a Lantern-Fish.