T. Lepturus, Hoy in Linn. Trans, vol. xi. p. 210. Flem. Brit. An. p. 204. Block, Ichth. pl. 158.? Cuv. Beg. An. torn. n. p. 218.? Cuv. et Val. Poiss. torn. viii. p. 173.? Silvery Hair-Tail, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 182.
Twelve feet and upwards. Hoy.
" Length, from the gills to the extremity of the tail, twelve feet nine inches: breadth, eleven inches and a quarter, nearly equal for the first six feet in length from the gills, diminishing gradually from thence to the tail, which ended in a blunt point: greatest thickness two inches and a half: distance from the gills to the anus forty-six inches: dorsal fin extending from the head to the tail: no ventrals or anal; but the thin edge of the belly closely murieated with small hard points, scarcely visible through the skin, but plainly felt. Both sides of the fish white, with four longitudinal bars of a darker colour; the one immediately below the dorsal fin about two inches broad; each of the other three about three-fourths of an inch. Side-line straight along the middle." Hoy.
The above fish, originally described by Mr. Hoy, /. c, was found on the beach of the Moray-Frith, near the fishing village of Port Gordon in Scotland, November 12, 1812. Its head had been broken off, and was quite gone, and a small bit of the gills only remained about the upper part of the throat. A fish, supposed to be of a similar kind, had been cast upon the same shore two years previously, and Mr. Hoy commences his account with a description of this last individual. From the great difference, however, which appears in their relative proportions, as stated by this gentleman, I am inclined to Dr. Fleming's opinion, that the individual last alluded to was a distinct species, if not belonging to a different genus. There can be no doubt that the one described above was a true Trichiurus, and probably the T. Lepturus of Linnaeus and other authors; but as the description is rather imperfect, and the species of this genus ill determined, it is impossible to speak with certainty on this last point. It is worth noting, however, that neither Cuvier nor Bloch describe this species as exceeding three feet. The T. Lepturus is found in the Atlantic Ocean, and, like the Lepidopus argyreus, appears to have a wide geographical range. It is erroneously said by Bloch to inhabit fresh waters.