First dorsal with seven rays: sides and belly thickly covered with small dusky spots.
S. maculatus, Couch in Loud. Mag. of Nat. Hist. vol. v. p. 22. f. 8. Le Maquereau Colias, Cuv. et Val. Poiss. torn. viii. p. 29. pl.209.? Spanish Mackerel, Couch, I.e. Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 131.
" Figure round and plump, six inches and a half in compass near the pectoral fins (in a specimen fourteen inches and a half in length), the thickness of its figure being carried far towards the tail: mouth large; jaws of equal length; teeth small; tongue moveable and pointed: head large and long: eye large, one inch and one-eighth from the snout, and itself six eighths of an inch wide; from the snout to the pectoral three inches and a half: rays of the gill-membrane six, concealed: lateral line at first slightly descending, then straight: scales on the superior plate of the gill-covers as well as on the body: first dorsal in a chink, with seven rays, the first shorter, second and third of equal lengths: spurious fins six above and below, the anterior not high: tail divided, and at its origin doubly carinated: vent prominent. Colour dark blue on the back, striped like the Mackerel, but more obscurely and with fewer stripes; a row of large dark spots from the pectoral fin to the tail; sides and belly thickly covered with smaller dusky spots: tail, gillcovers, and sides, and behind the eye, bright yellow. From the Mack-arel, which it resembles, this fish differs in the markings of the head, longer snout, larger eye and gape, longer head, and in having scales on the anterior gill-covers: the body is not nearly so much attenuated posteriorly; the ventral fins are sharp and slender, those of the Mackerel wider and more blunt: in the former, the pectorals lie close to the body; in the latter, they stand off; in the latter, also, is a large angular plate, the point directed backward, close above the pectoral fins, which does not exist in the Spanish Mackerel." Couch.
The above species will probably prove to be the S. Colias of Cuvier and Valenciennes, which is found in the Mediterranean, and is remarkably distinguished from the S. Scomber by having a swimming bladder. For the present, however, I have thought it proper to retain the name given to it by Mr. Couch, and to annex his description. This gentleman observes that it is scarce, but that some are taken every year off the coast of Cornwall. It attains the weight of four or five pounds, but is in no estimation as food. It is called by the fishermen Spanish Mackerel.
Brit. Faun. p. 100. sp. 76.
Under this name Turton speaks of a species which is " found frequently in the Weirs about Swansea, and which very much resembles the Common Mackerel, except in size, which seldom exceeds six or seven inches in length. Its colours are much richer, and it does not appear to come in shoals." Whether this be any thing more than the young state of one of the foregoing species can only be determined by a closer examination of its characters.
(2. Thynnus, Cuv).