Teeth obtusely cuneiform: skin rough with minute spines: one row of small hooked spines on the tail, continued along the dorsal ridge to the head: eyes remarkably small.

R. microcellata, Mont, in Wern. Mem. vol. ii. p. 430. Flem. Brit. An. p. 171.

Dimensions

Total length twenty inches: length of the tail nine inches: breadth fourteen inches. Mont.

Description

(Form). Resembling in shape the R. maculata, but rather more obtuse in front, and particularly distinguished by the comparative smallness of the eyes † : teeth obtusely cuneiform, with a broad edge, that feels rough to the finger as it is withdrawn from the mouth; in one jaw fifty-three, in the other fifty-six, longitudinal rows, closely connected: skin on the upper side rough with minute spines; the under side smooth: in one specimen there was observed a single large spine, with a broad base, before one of the eyes; (possibly in older fish that part may be more spinous;) above the eyes, the spinulee were rather larger than those which cover the whole upper surface: one row of small hooked spines on the tail, continued along the dorsal ridge to the head. (Colours). Upper parts plain brown, with the exception of a few scattered pale spots and lines on the margins of the wings: under parts white. Mont.

This species appears to have been observed hitherto only by Montagu, who obtained two females, the largest not exceeding the dimensions above given. He states that it appears to be confounded with the R. chagrinea, both being indiscriminately called Dun-Cow by the fishermen in the West of England. Whether it be the same as any of those described by continental authors is uncertain.

* The R. Fullonica of Turton is partly applicable to the above species and partly to the R. chagrined last described. The R. Rubus of the same author may be the same as the R. maculata of Montagu, but the description is not quite correct, nor sufficiently precise to enable one to speak with certainty on this point. The R. Rubus of Fleming agrees with the R. maculata in some of its characters, but not in others.

† Montagu says, " The eyes of the specimen described did not exceed half an inch in diameter from the opposite angles of the eye-lids; whereas the R. maculata, and most other* of similar size, have eyes nearly double that diameter".