Dorsals contiguous: upper jaw longest: chin and branchiostegous membrane furnished with numerous thread-like filaments.
A. armatus, Lacep. Hist. Nat. des Poiss. torn. iii. p. 222. A. Euro-pseus, Cuv. et Vol. Poiss. torn. iv. p. 147. Cottus cataphractus, Linn. St/st. Nat. torn. i. p. 451. Block, Ichth. pl. 39. f. 1. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. i. pl. 16. Cataphractus Schoneveldii, Flem. Brit. An. p. 216. Pogge, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 211. tab. N. 6. f. 2, & 3. Armed Bull-head, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. in. p. 217. pl. 39. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 293. pl. 43. Yarr. Brit. Fish, vol.i. p. 70.
From four to six inches.
(Form). Distinguished from the Cotti by the osseous plates on the body, which form longitudinal sharp angular ridges, and render it somewhat octagonal: head broad, and much depressed: body tapering behind: depth at the nape about one-seventh the entire length: breadth across the head one-fourth: space between the eyes concave: snout slightly recurved, and armed at its extremity with four small acute spines directed upwards: upper jaw projecting over the lower: both jaws with fine sharp velvet-like teeth: pharyngeans the same: tongue and palate smooth: infra-orbitals with three blunt tubercles on their lower margin; beyond them a sharp spine directed backwards: preopercle with a similar but larger spine; opercle small and unarmed: branchiostegous membrane, as well as the chin, furnished with numerous small fleshy filaments in the form of threads: body only octagonal from the vent to the termination of the second dorsal and anal; at that point the two uppermost carinse, and the two lowermost, unite respectively to form one; and beyond, the body is hexagonal: the lateral line is first parallel to the upper series, then takes a bend opposite to the vent where the second series commences, and passing between this and the third, proceeds straight to the caudal: four uppermost carina roug;h and sharp: the four lower ones almost smooth: first dorsal rounded; the rays flexible but not articulated: second immediately behind it; all the rays simple: anal answering exactly to the second dorsal: Unless portion of the tail one-third of the entire length: caudal rounded: pectorals also rounded, about the length of the head; all the rays simple: ventrals immediately under them, narrow and pointed, the spinous ray closely attached to the first articulated one:
D. 5 - 6; A. 7; C. 11; P. 16; V. 1/2.
(Colours). Brown above; beneath white; more or less marked with dusky spots.
Common on many parts of the coast, concealing itself in the sand, or amongst stones. Feeds on small Crustacea and marine insects. Spawns, according to Bloch, in May.