Jaws without scales: cheeks and gill-covers marked with three or four oblique bands; sides with a few longitudinal bands.
P. Cabrilla, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 488. P. Channus, Couch in Loud. Mag. of Nat. Hist. vol. v. p. 19. fig. 6. Serranus Cabrilla, Cuv. et Val. Poiss. torn. ii. p. 166. pl. 29. Smooth Serranus, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 9. Smooth Perch, Couch, I. c. Serran commun, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 139.
About ten inches. Couch.
(Form). " Under jaw longest: teeth in both and in the palate, numerous, irregular, sharp, incurved: tongue small, loose: eyes large, near the top of the head: first plate of the gill-covers serrate; the second with two (in the female one) obscure spines, scarcely to be distinguished, except in form, from the scales with which the gill-covers and body are thickly and firmly covered, and which are also ciliated: seven rays in the gill-membrane, curved; the superior broad: body compressed, deep: dorsal fin commencing opposite the ventrals: pectorals pointed: caudal slightly curved: number of fin-rays,
D. 10/14; A. 2/7; C. 17; P. 15; V. 6; lateral line nearer the back."
According to Cuvier and Valenciennes, this species is distinguished from the Serranus Scriba, Cuv. (a closely allied one found in the Mediterranean) by its shorter snout and rather more convex forehead*; larger eye; and rather less rounded pre-opercle, with the denticulations towards the angle a little stronger: the lower jaw has the under surface of its branches chagrined and vermicu-lated by little marks in the skin. (Colours). " Colour of the back brown, having, in some specimens, distinct bars running round to the belly: sides yellow, reddish, or saffron-coloured, more faint below: two irregular parallel whitish lines pass along the side from head to tail; a third, more imperfect, on the belly: gill-plates with several faintish blue stripes, running obliquely downward: fins striped longitudinally with red and yellow; pectorals wholly yellow." Couch.
An abundant species in the Mediterranean. In the British seas it has hitherto been observed only by Mr. Couch, who represents it as common on the coast of Cornwall, " keeping in the neighbourhood of rocks, not far from land".