Body slender, rounded: jaws equal: scales very minute: anal with ten or eleven rays: fins pale.
C. Phoxinus, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 528. Block, Ichth. pl. 8. f. 5. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. iii. pl. 60. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 109. Leuciscus Phoxinus, Flem. Brit. An. p. 188. Pink or Minim, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 268. tab. Q. 8. f. 7. Minnow, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 373. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 489. Bowd. Brit. fr. wat. Fish. Draw. no. 8. Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 372. Le Veron, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 276.
From three to four inches.
(Form). Body elongated and rounded, tapering posteriorly: dorsal line but slightly curved; ventral more convex: greatest depth a little before the ventrals, equalling about one-fifth of the entire length: head rather less than one-fifth: thickness exceeding half the depth: snout short; jaws equal: eyes small: nostrils wide, approximating: lateral line very slightly descending; its course a little below the middle: scales very minute: dorsal entirely behind the middle, as well as the ventrals; first ray half the length of the second; second and third longest; the first two and the last in the fin simple; the rest branched: anal commencing in a vertical line with the last ray of the dorsal; first ray very short and easily overlooked; second not half the length of the third; third and fourth longest; the first three and the last ray of all simple; the others branched: caudal forked for nearly half its length: pectorals about three-fourths the length of the head: ventrals a little shorter:
D. 10; A. 10 or 11; C. 19, etc.; P. 16; V. 8.
(Colours). Back, and upper half of the sides, deep olive-brown, sometimes spotted with black; lateral line often of a golden hue; lower portion of the sides and belly yellowish white, but (in the males?) during the spawning season of a rich crimson: dorsal and caudal fins pale brown; generally a large dusky spot at the base of the caudal; anal, pectorals, and ventrals, lighter.
Common in rivers, more especially those with a gravelly bottom. Keeps in shoals. Spawns the end of May, or beginning of June, at which season the head is covered with small tubercles. Food, worms, insects, and aquatic plants.
Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 529. Bloch, Ichth. pl. 36. The Ide, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 344.
Said to have been found by the late Dr. Walker in the mouth of the Nith*. Its claims, however, to a place in the British Fauna do not appear to have been confirmed by any subsequent observer.
* Stew. El. of Nat. Hist. vol. i. p. 382.
Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 530. Bloch, Ichth. pl. 96.
This species having been confounded by Willughby and Ray with the Rud, (C. Erythrophthalmus), Linnaeus was led, apparently on their authority, to consider it as inhabiting the English rivers. This error has been reproduced in the "British Animals," (p. 186), of Dr. Fleming, who attaches the name of Barbus Orfus to the Rud or Finscale of Willughby, a species undoubtedly the same as the Red-Eye of Donovan. It is almost certain that the true C. Orfus, which is a native of Germany, has no claim whatever to a place in the British Fauna.