M. curtus, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 210.
" Length of the head compared with that of the body and tail as one to three, the proportion in the Common Gray Mullet being as one to four: the body deeper in proportion than in M. Capito, being equal to the length of the head: head wider, the form of it more triangular, and also more pointed anteriorly: eye larger in proportion: fin-rays longer, particularly those of the tail: the ventral fins placed nearer the pectorals; also a difference in the number of some of the fin-rays:
D. 4 - 1/8; A. 3/8; C. 14; P. 11; V. 1/5.
The colours of the two species are nearly alike; and in other respects, except those named, they do not differ materially." Yarr.
A new species described by Mr. Yarrell, of which only one specimen has hitherto been obtained. This, which is probably quite young, measuring but little more than two inches in length, was taken, in company with the fry of the Common Gray Mullet, between Brownsey Island and South Haven, at the mouth of Poole Harbour.
Reg. An. torn. II. p. 231.
Whether the true M. Cephalus of Cuvier be found in the British seas, must be left doubtful, until naturalists shall have more closely examined and compared our native species. It may, perhaps, assist in determining this point, just to point out its distinguishing characters. These consist (according to Cuvier) in the eyes being partly covered by a fatty membrane adhering to the anterior and posterior margins of the orbit; in the maxillary being entirely concealed beneath the infra-orbital, when the mouth is closed; and in the base of the pectoral fin being surmounted by a long carinated scale*; the orifices of the nostril are also separate from each other, and the teeth are tolerably well developed.
* See a representation of this scale in the vignette at the foot of page 201 of Yarrcll's British Fishes.