Head nearly smooth: preopercle armed with a single spine.
C. Gobio, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 452. Block, Ichth. pl. 39. f. 2. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. iv. pl. 80. Flem. Brit. An. p. 216. Bullhead, or Millers Thumb, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 137. tab. H. 3. f.3. River Bull-head, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol.iii. p. 216. pl. 39. Id. (Edit 1812). vol. in. p. 291. pl. 43. Bowd. Brit. Jr. wat. Fish. Draw. 24. Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 56. Le Chabot de riviere, Cuv. et Val, Poiss. torn. iv. p. 106. Cuv. Beg. An. torn. ii. p. 162.
From three to four, rarely five, inches.
(Form). Head very large, occupying one-third of the whole length; as broad as long; somewhat depressed above, rounded in front: body gradually tapering from behind the nape: greatest depth beneath the first dorsal, equalling one-fifth of the entire length: gape very wide; jaws equal; both armed, as well as the fore part of the vomer, with fine teeth like velvet: eyes small, placed on the upper part of the head, a little inclined; somewhat nearer together in the male than in the female: head smooth, without spines, covered, as well as the whole body, with a soft naked skin: preopercle only, with a single curved spine at its posterior angle, the point turning upwards; opercle terminating behind in a flat blunt point: lateral line nearly straight, its course at one-third of the depth; formed by a row of small lozenge shaped elevations of the skin, from thirty to thirty-five in number: first dorsal commencing a little behind the base of the pectorals; all the rays somewhat soft and flexible, but not articulated: second dorsal twice as high, and nearly three times as long, as the first; the membrane continuous from one to the other; most of the rays simple, but all flexible and articulated: anal commencing a little more backward than the second dorsal, and not extending so far towards the caudal: this last rounded: pectorals broad and rounded, equalling one-fourth of the entire length; most of the rays simple, but all articulated: ventrals immediately under them, the first or spinous ray enveloped in a membrane, which causes it to appear longer and thicker than it really is:
* Hisl. Pise. p. 281. §. 7.
D. 6 - 16; A. 13; C. 11, and some short ones; P. 14; V. 1/3.
Number of vertebrse thirty-two. (Colours). Brownish gray, occasionally marbled with yellow and dusky spots; belly silvery white: fins barred and varied with brown.
Common in fresh waters, especially clear streams which have a gravelly bottom. Lurks under stones, and swims with great rapidity. Swells out its head when in danger by raising the gill-covers, thus causing the former to appear broader than it is. Food, principally aquatic insects. Spawns in March and April, according to Bloch and some other authors; but, according to Cuvier, during the months of May, June, and July. Has no air-bladder.