Back and sides olivaceous, spotted with dusky brown.
P. Cernua, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 487. Block, Ichth. pl. 5. f. 2. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. ii. pl. 39. Cernua fluviatilis, Flem. Brit. An. p. 212. Acerina vulgaris, Cuv. et Val. Poiss. torn. iii. p. 4. pl. 41. Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 144. Ruffe, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 334. tab. X. 14. f. 2. Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 259. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 350. Bowd. Brit. fr. wat. Fish. Draw. 10. Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 18.
From six to eight inches.
(Form). Not so high in the back as the Perch, and less compressed in proportion; head broader, thicker, and more obtuse about the snout: greatest depth at the commencement of the dorsal fin, equalling one-fourth of the entire length, including caudal; thickness two-thirds of the depth: eyes very large and brilliant; their diameter one-fourth of the length of the head: mouth rather small; upper jaw a little the longest; both jaws, as well as the vomer, armed with fine teeth like velvet; pharyngeans card-like: head without scales; the snout, cheeks, and jaws, pitted with numerous excavations: preopercle with the ascending and basal margins strongly spined; posterior angle of the opercle terminating in a small spine: gill-opening very large: lateral line nearly parallel with the back; its course at rather less than one-third of the depth: dorsal commencing in a line with the posterior angle of the opercle; first ray very short; the succeeding ones gradually lengthening to the fourth and fifth, which are longest, then decreasing to the fourteenth, or last of the spinous rays; soft portion of the fin rather more than half the length of the spinous; middle rays longest, the last ray double: anal commencing a little nearer the caudal than the soft dorsal, and not extending quite so far; first two rays strongly spinous and slightly curved: finless portion of the tail about equal in length to the caudal; this last deeply forked: pectorals in a line with the commencement of the dorsal, and two-thirds the length of the head; all the rays soft, and, except the first and last, branched; middle rays longest: ventrals about equal to the pectorals, placed immediately beneath them; the first ray spinous, rather more than half as long as the third, which is longest; all the soft rays much branched: number of rays,
D. 14/12; A. 2/5; C. 17; P. 14; V. 1/5.
* Nat. Hist. of Jam. vol. ii. tab. 283. f. 1.
Number of vertebrae thirty-seven. (Colours). Back and upper half of the sides pale brown, inclining to olivaceous; lower portion of the sides with a slight lustre of golden yellow: belly silvery: cheeks, opercle, and breast, of a pearly hue, with a play of iridescent colours varying according to the light: head, back, and a portion of the sides, sprinkled with brownish spots: dorsal, caudal, and pectorals, yellowish gray, speckled with brown; ventrals and anal pale yellowish white, without spots: irides with the upper portion dusky, the lower half inclining to golden yellow.
Not uncommon in rivers and clear streams. Said to have been first observed by Dr. Caius in the river Yare near Norwich. Habits somewhat resembling those of the Perch. Seldom exceeds a weight of three ounces. Spawns in March and April. Is sometimes called a Pope.