Z. Aper, Gmel. Linn. torn. i. part iii. p. 1225. Capros Aper, Lacep. Hist. Nat. des Poiss. torn. iv. p. 591. Riss. Hist. Nat. de VEur. Mer. torn. iii. p. 380. Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 211. Proceed, of Comm. of Zool. Soc. 1833. p. 114. Aper Rondeletii, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 296. tab. I. 4. f. 4. Boar-Fish, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 169.
The British specimens have not exceeded seven inches.
(Form). "Body a shorter oval than that of the Dory: mouth protruding: a band of minute teeth considerably within each jaw: eye very large, placed at the distance of its own diameter from the end of the nose when the mouth is shut: nostrils large, just anterior to the edge of the orbit: origin of the first dorsal, pectoral, and ventral, fins, nearly in the same plane: the base of the first dorsal about as long as its third spine, which is the longest: the base of the second dorsal equal to that of the first, the rays very slender and flexible, the membrane only extending up one-third of the length of the rays: pectoral fin as long as the third ray of the first dorsal, slender and delicate in structure: ventral with one strong spine, the other rays flexible and branched, the membrane not extending the whole length of the rays: anal with all the characters observable in the second dorsal, and ending at the same distance from the tail: the caudal rays slender, and twice as long as the fleshy portion of the tail: number of fin-rays,
D. 9/24; A. 3/24; C. 12; P. 14; V. 1/5.
No lateral line observable: body quite smooth when the finger is passed from before backwards, but rough to the touch in the contrary direction, from numerous small scales which are minutely ciliated." (Colours). " Upper part of the back and sides pale carmine, still lighter below, and passing to silvery white on the belly: body divided by seven transverse orange-coloured bands reaching three-fourths of the distance from the back downwards: irides orange; the pupil bluish black: all the fin-rays the same colour as the back; the membranes much lighter." Yarr. Obs. In one of the British specimens there were no transverse bands.
This species, which is a native of the Mediterranean, has twice occurred in the British seas. The first individual is recorded by Dr. Henry Boase as having been taken in Mounts Bay, in October 1825. The second is said to have been obtained in Bridgewater fish-market, on the 18th of April 1833. Dr. Boase's specimen is described in the "Proceedings of the Zoological Society," I. c. Of its habits little appears to be known, excepting that (according to Risso) it spawns in April.