(1. SOLEA, CUV).

Greatest breadth not half the' length: upper side of the body dark brown; the pectoral tipped with black.

S. vulgaris, Flem. Brit. An. p. 197. Pleuronectes Solea, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. 1. p. 457. Block, Ichth. pl. 45. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. iii. pl. 62. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 96. Buglossus, seu Solea, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 100. tab. F. 7. Sole, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. 111. p. 231. Id. (Edit. 1812). p. 311.

Length

From twelve to eighteen inches; sometimes two feet, or more.

Description

{Form). Oblong-oval; very much rounded anteriorly; body narrowing behind: dorsal line carried on in one continuous curve to the mouth: greatest breadth, dorsal and anal fins excluded, rather more than one-third of the entire length: length of the head just half the breadth of the body: snout obtuse and rounded, projecting beyond the mouth; this last appearing distorted on the side opposed to the eyes, and furnished on that side only with fine velvet-like teeth; upper jaw the longest: eyes small; distant from each other about twice their diameter; the lower one immediately above the corner of the mouth, the upper one further advanced towards the end of the snout; the space between them flat: nostrils tubular, placed a little above the lip, one on the upper and the other on the under side of the head: side of the head opposed to the eyes bearded with numerous white fleshy cirri: lateral line arising above the upper eye, and, after making a great curve, descending to the upper part of the opercle; thence running straight to the caudal along the middle of the side: scales small, of an oblong form; their free edges ciliated, the denticles about ten in number: dorsal commencing a little above the mouth, and extending along the whole ridge of the back quite to the caudal; its greatest elevation less than one-seventh of the breadth of the body; all the rays simple, of a compressed conical form, and scaly for the greater part of their length: pectorals one-third the length of the head, both of equal size, placed just behind the upper part of the gill-opening; narrow and rounded, with the middle rays longest; first and last rays simple, the others branched: anal commencing a little in advance of the insertion of the pectorals; answering to the dorsal: caudal oblong, slightly rounded at the extremity: ventrals very small, about two-thirds the length of the pectorals; situate just in advance of the anal; third ray longest:

* According to Mr. Hanmer, the name of Megrim is sometimes given to the last species. Several other instances might be pointed out, in which the same English name is applied, on different parts of the coast, to two or more totally distinct species.

B. 6; D. 84; A. 67; C. 18; P. 8; V. 5.

" Number of vertebrae forty-seven *." {Colours). All the upper side of the body dark brown, the scales edged with a deeper tint, causing a reticulated appearance; the pectoral on that side tipped with black: under side of the body white: irides golden yellow.

Common on all parts of the coast, particularly in the West and South of England, where it attains a large size. Weight, according to Pennant, sometimes so much as six or seven pounds; usually, however, very much less. Keeps almost entirely at the bottom, and feeds on the eggs and fry of other fish.