Plain red; the sides without any longitudinal yellow lines: profile nearly vertical.
M. barbatus, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 495. Bloch, Ichth. pl. 348. f. 2. Mullus, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 285. tab. S. 7. f. 2. Red Surmullet, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 271. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii p. 365. Plain Red Mullet, Yarr. Brit. Pish. vol. i. p. 32. Vrai Rouget, ou Rouget-Barbet, Cuv. et Val. Poiss. torn. iii. p. 325. pl. 70.
Rarely exceeds six inches.
(Form). Readily distinguished from the last species by the form of the head, the fall of the profile approaching more nearly to vertical: the pores of the infra-orbitals are also larger and more numerous; the scales narrower, with fewer indentations on their basal margin, and with the striae more strongly marked. In other respects the two species are similar. (Colours). Of a deeper red, and of a more uniform eolour than the M. Surmuletus, without any longitudinal yellow lines*: beneath the body silvery: fins yellow. Cuv.
This species, which resides principally in the Mediterranean, appears to be extremely rare in the British seas. Pennant mentions having heard of its being taken on the coast of Scotland. More recently two specimens have been obtained by Mr. Couch on the coast of Cornwall-There is no other recorded instance in which it has been noticed. Habits said to resemble those of the M. Surmuletus.