(1. Belone, Cuv).

B. vulgaris, Flem. Brit. An. p. 184. Esox Belone, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 517. Block, Ichth. pl. 33. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. iii. pl. 64. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 105. Horn-Fish or Gar-Fish, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 231. tab. P. 2. f. 4. Gar-Pike, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 324. pl. 63. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 429. pl. 74. Gar-Fish, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 391.

Length

From eighteen inches to two feet; rarely more.

Description

{Form). Subcylindrical, slender, and very much elongated: depth nearly uniform till past the commencement of the dorsal and anal fins, contained seventeen times and a half in the entire length: thickness rather more than two-thirds of the depth: abdomen flat, bounded on each side by a longitudinal series of large scales, forming a sort of lateral keel which runs the whole length of the body: head, snout included, contained a little more than three times and a half in the entire length; cranium flat and horizontal; cheeks vertical; snout produced into a long, slender, sharp-pointed beak; the lower jaw considerably the longest: both jaws armed at their edges with a single row of tine sharp card-like teeth; none on any other part of the mouth: eyes large, placed high, a little behind the corners of the mouth: nostrils wide, immediately in advance of them: lateral line nearly straight, not very distinct: head and opercle without scales; those on the body, with the exception of the longitudinal row on each side of the abdomen, thinly scattered and not very conspicuous: dorsal very far behind, commencing at three-fourths of the entire length; first ray only half the length of the second, which is longest; third and three following ones decreasing; beyond the sixth, the rays remain low and nearly even to the termination of the fin; all except the first branched: anal similar to the dorsal, and answering to it: caudal forked: pectorals small, in length scarcely exceeding the depth of the body, attached about half-way down, a little behind the gill-opening; second ray longest: ventrals still smaller; their point of attachment exactly half-way between the posterior part of the opercle and the end of the fleshy portion of the tail:

* One-individual was found to have fourteen on one side and fifteen on the other.

D. 18; A. 21; C. 19, etc.; P. 13; V. 7.

{Colours). Head, back, and upper part of the sides, fine rich bluish green; gill-covers, and all below the lateral line of the body, bright silvery.

Common on many parts of the coast, appearing in shoals about April, and remaining till late in Autumn. At the approach of Winter, retires to deep water. From its usually preceding the Mackerel, is sometimes called the Mackerel-Guide. Said to deposit its spawn close to the shore, among rocks and sea-weed. The bones are well known for acquiring a green colour when boiled.

(18). Little Gar {Esox Brasiliensis), Couch In Linn

Trans, vol. xiv. p. 85.

A doubtful species, taken by Mr. Couch " in the harbour at Polperro, in July 1818, as it was swimming with agility near the surface of the water. About an inch in length: head somewhat flattened at the top; the upper jaw short and pointed; the inferior much protruded, being at least as long as from the extremity of the upper jaw to the back part of the gill-covers: the mouth opened obliquely downwards; but that part of the under jaw which protruded beyond the extremity of the upper, passed straight forward in a right line with the top of the head: body compressed, lengthened, and resembling that of the Gar-Pike (E. Belone): one dorsal and one anal placed far behind, and opposite to each other: tail straight. Colour of the back bluish green, with a few spots; the belly silvery." Couch.

Mr. Couch conceived that this species might be the Esox Brasiliensis of Linnaeus. It seems, however, more likely to have been the young of some species of Hemiramphus, Cuv.

(2. Scomberesox, Lac).