Back and sides spotted with yellow and brown; lateral line white: jaws nearly equal.

G. Morrhua, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 436. Block, Ichth. pl. 64. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 89. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. v. pl. 106. Asellus major vulgaris, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 165. tab. L. m. 1. n. 1. f. 4. Morhua vulgaris, Flem. Brit. An. p. 191. Common Cod-Fish, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 172. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. in. p. 231. La Morue, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. n. p. 331.

Length

Two to four feet. Has been known (according to Pennant) to reach five feet eight inches.

Description

{Form). Oval; elongated; thickest behind the pectorals; somewhat tapering posteriorly: greatest depth about one-fifth of the entire length: dorsal line nearly straight beyond the commencement of the first fin, in front of which it slopes gently downwards to the snout; ventral line more bellying: head large; rather more than one-fourth of the entire length: snout rounded: jaws nearly equal; but sometimes the upper a little the longest: both jaws, as well as the fore part of the vomer, armed with small, sharp, card-like teeth in several rows, of unequal lengths: beneath the symphysis of the lower jaw a single barbule about one inch and a half in length: eyes moderate: head smooth and naked: body covered with small soft scales: a longitudinal groove on the nape extending from behind the eyes to the commencement of the first dorsal: lateral line arising from the upper part of the opercle, curving gently downwards till beneath the twelfth ray of the second dorsal, then passing off straight to the caudal; beneath the first dorsal, its course is about one-fifth of the depth: three dorsals; the first commencing at nearly one-third of the length; of a somewhat triangular form; its length rather greater than its height, which last equals about one-third of the depth of the body; first ray only half the length of the second; third, fourth, and fifth, rays longest; succeeding ones gradually diminishing; the last ray very small: second dorsal almost immediately behind the first, of the same height, but its length half as much again; third, fourth, and fifth, rays longest: third dorsal resembling the first, but rather longer; fourth, fifth, and sixth, rays longest; the first ray very short: two anals; the first nearly corresponding to the second dorsal, beginning a little backwarder, but terminating in the same line; first ray very small, and easily overlooked; seventh and eighth longest: second anal answering exactly to the third dorsal: caudal nearly even at the extremity; the rays proceeding principally from the sides of the tail, which is prolonged into the middle of the fin: pectorals rounded, rather less than half the length of the head; fifth ray longest; all the rays, except the first two, branched: ventrals a little shorter than the pectorals, placed before them, narrow, and pointed; third ray longest: number of fin-rays,

D. 12 - 20 - 19; A. 19 - 17; C. 34, and several short ones; P. 19; V. 6.

{Colours). Back, head, and upper half of the sides, cinereous brown, obscurely spotted with yellow; lower half of the sides, and abdomen, white: lateral line forming a narrow white band, very conspicuous on the dusky ground: fins dusky; ventrals pale, approaching to white.

A common species on most parts of the coast, but said to increase in numbers towards the North. According to Dr. Fleming, the most extensive fisheries in our seas are off the Western Isles and the coast of Zetland. Spawns in the early part of the Spring. Food, worms, Crustacea, shell-fish, etc. Has been known to attain the weight of seventy-eight pounds.

(23). G. Callarias, Linn

Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 436. Bloch, Ichth. pl. 63. Berkenh. Syn. vol. i. p. 67. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 89. Nilss. Prod. Ichth. Scand. p. 40. Asellus varius vel striatus, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 172. tab. L. m. 1. n. 1. f. 1. Variable Cod-Fish, Penn. Brit. Zool. (Ed. 1812). vol. iii. p. 239. Le Dorsch, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 332.

This species, which is common in the Northern seas, especially in the Baltic, has been included in the British Fauna by Berkenhout, Turton, and the Editor of the last edition of Pennant's Zoology; its claims to insertion, however, must be considered as rather doubtful. It is probable that by some observers it has been confounded with a variety of the last species, in which the upper jaw projects a little beyond the lower, though never so much as in the G. Callarias, in which this character forms a striking feature. According to Cuvier, the true G. Callarias is usually of much smaller size than the G. Morrhua. Nilsson states its length to be from one to two feet.. The same observer has annexed a distinguishing character between the two species, which it may be well to repeat here for the guidance of our own naturalists, in the event of the G. Callarias being really an inhabitant of the British seas. He remarks, that in the G. Morrhua, the length of the lower jaw equals half that of the head, also equals the distance from the snout to the posterior margin of the orbit: in the G. Callarias, it is shorter than half the length of the head, and equals the distance from the snout to the middle of the eye. The colours of this last species, upon which some authors appear to have relied, are said to be extremely variable.

The G. Callarias has been sometimes distinguished by the English name of Dorse. Its flesh (according to Cuvier) is reckoned superior to that of the Common Cod.