Upper jaw longest: lateral line nearly straight.

M. vulgaris, Flem. Brit. An. p. 195. Gadus Merlangus, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. 1. p. 438. Block, Ichth. pl. 65. Tart. Brit. Faun. p. 91. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. 11. pl. 36. Asellus mollis major seu albus, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 170. tab. L. m. 1. n. 5. Whiting, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 190. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. in. p. 255. Merlan commun, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. 11. p. 332.

Length

From twelve to sixteen, rarely twenty, inches.

Description

{Form). More slender and elongated than the Common Cod: greatest depth one-sixth of the entire length: head about one-fourth: snout a little pointed; upper jaw very sensibly the longest: teeth above in several rows; the outer row longer than the others, and appearing beyond those in the lower jaw, when the mouth is closed; these last forming but a single row: eyes round, large; their diameter about one-fifth the length of the head: no longitudinal groove on the nape: lateral line nearly straight, showing Only a slight flexure beneath the commencement of the second dorsal: scales small: first dorsal commencing at about one-third of the entire length; of a triangular form, its length and greatest elevation about the same, equalling two-thirds of the depth of the body; third, fourth, and fifth, rays longest: second dorsal commencing after a very short interval, much longer than the first, but in other respects similar: third dorsal resembling the second, and commencing after about the same interval; fourth and fifth rays longest: vent in a line with the fourth ray of the first dorsal; first anal commencing immediately behind it, and terminating a little beyond a vertical line from the end of the second dorsal; first seven rays gradually increasing in length from the first, which is extremely short; eighth and some of the succeeding rays longest, and nearly even; last five or six gradually decreasing: second anal answering to the third dorsal: caudal nearly even: pectorals a little in advance of the first dorsal; rather more than half the length of the head; third and fourth rays longest: vent-rals narrow and tapering, rather shorter than the pectorals; second ray much longer than the others: number of fin-rays,

D. 15 - 19 - 20; A. 32 - 21; C. 31, and some short ones; P. 19; V. 6.

{Colours). Back, and upper part of the sides, pale brown, or reddish gray, generally without spots: belly silvery: lateral line whitish: a dusky spot at the roots of the pectoral fins.

A common species, taken in large quantities for the table during the spring and summer months. Said to keep in large shoals at the distance of two or three miles from the shore.