Entire length six times the depth of the body: second dorsal with about thirty rays: lower jaw ascending.
T. Draco, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 435. Cuv. et Vol. Poiss. torn. iii. p. 178. Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 152. T. major, Don. Brit. Fish. vol. v. pl. 107. Flem. Brit. An. p. 214. Weever, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 288. tab. S. 10. f. 1. Great Weever, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 171. pl. 29. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. hi. p. 229. pl. 33. Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 20.
From twelve to fifteen inches.
(Form). Elongated; head and sides much compressed; entire length more than six times the depth of the body, and more than four times the length of the head; greatest thickness half the depth: head and back nearly in a continuous straight line; the profile slightly falling from the forehead; abdomen scarcely more convex than the back: lower jaw longer than the upper, and sloping upwards to meet it; both armed, as well as the vomer, palatines, pterygoidians, and pharyngeans, with fine sharp velvet-like teeth; arch-bones of the gills with a number of serrated tooth-like processes: before and rather above each eye are two short strong spines; there is also a strong sharp spine on the upper part of the opercle, but not projecting beyond the edge of the membrane: supra-scapulars represented by a large denticulated scale: lateral line straight; its course at rather less than one-fourth of the depth: scales small, disposed in oblique transverse rows: first dorsal very short, commencing immediately above the denticulated scale; spines stiff and very sharp; the third longest; those on each side gradually decreasing; the last very small and partly concealed: second dorsal immediately after the first, almost continuous with it, and extending nearly to the caudal: anal thick and fleshy, rather longer than the second dorsal, the ends of the rays reaching beyond the webs, and somewhat hooked: caudal scarcely notched: pectorals two-thirds of the length of the head; the third and six following rays branched, the others simple; ninth ray longest: ventrals before the pectorals, and scarcely more than half their length; first ray short and spinous; the rest articulated, with the last three branched; fourth ray in the fin longest: number of rays,
D. 6 - 31; A. 1 - 31; C. 13; P. 16; V. 1/5.
Number of vertebra forty. (Colours). Back and upper portion of the sides reddish brown, with interrupted lines of black and yellow, running parallel with the oblique rows of scales; lower part of the sides, and abdomen, white, with interrupted yellow lines: first dorsal with the web deep black; second dorsal and caudal pale, more or less spotted with brown.
Met with occasionally at Weymouth, Hastings, Scarborough, and other parts of the coast. Is much apprehended by fishermen on account of its spines, which are sharp, and capable of inflicting a severe wound: they are usually considered as venomous, but, in the opinion of Cuvier, there is no real secretion of any poisonous fluid. Feeds on small fish, Crustacea, and marine insects. Spawns in June.