* Anal, caudal, and pectoral Jins, all present.

Body hept-angular anteriorly: crown with an elevated longitudinal ridge; profile descending in a sinuous curve: snout much narrower, vertically, than the head.

S. Acus, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. 1. p. 416. Block, Ichth. pl. 91. f. 2. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 116. Flem. Brit. An. p. 175. Pipe-Fish, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. pl. 23. no. 60. lower fig. but not p. 138. Shorter Pipe-Fish, Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. pl. 26. no. 60. lower fig. Low, Faun. Ore. p. 181.

Length

From twelve to sixteen inches: according to Bloch, from two to three feet.

Description

{Form). Very much elongated, slender, tapering behind: greatest depth and thickness about equal; each contained thirty-seven times in the entire length: body, from the head to the vent, heptangular; thence to the termination of the dorsal fin, hexangular; thence to the caudal, quadrangular: the heptangular portion presents two longitudinal ridges on each side, one on each side of the middle of the back, and one down the middle of the belly; this last terminates at the vent; the dorsal ridges terminate at the end of the dorsal fin, and the upper pair of lateral ridges rise to take their place; beyond the vent, the under surface of the tail is very flat, with the margins rather dilated, and, in the male, contains a long purse-like cavity, for the reception of the ova, opening by a longitudinal slit: body protected by transverse, striated, shields or plates, sixty-three in number; nineteen occupying that portion of the trunk between the gills and the vent, forty-four the remainder of the length: head compressed, contained (snout included) about seven times and a half in the entire length: occiput rising into a longitudinal elevated ridge, continued over the crown; the profile falling thence in a sinuous curve to the base of the snout: eyes large, protected above by a sharp osseous ridge; the intervening space concave; in front of each a sharp spinous process: snout elongated, nearly twice the length of the rest of the head, compressed, much narrower than the head in a vertical direction; mouth very small, situate quite at the extremity; lower jaw longest, ascending: no teeth: opercle large, marked with diverging striae, closed on all sides by a continuous membrane, the gill-opening being reduced to a small hole on each side of the nape: dorsal so placed as to terminate exactly at the middle point of the entire length; length of the fin about equal to that of the head; its height equalling the depth of the body, and nearly uniform throughout, the anterior rays being slightly shorter than the succeeding ones; all the rays simple: vent in a line with the seventh dorsal ray; anal immediately behind it, very small and inconspicuous, consisting of only three short simple rays: caudal moderate, rounded; the rays simple and articulated: pectorals a little behind the gills, not very large, of a rounded form; all the rays simple.

D. 42; A. 3; C. 10; P. 12.

{Colours). Pale yellowish brown, with transverse bands of darker brown: belly whitish.

Not uncommon on many parts of the coast, frequenting chiefly the shallower places. I am not aware, however, that in the British seas it ever attains to the length which Bloch assigns to it. This and several other species in the present genus are remarkable for the males carrying the ova, until hatched, and even the young themselves for a short time after they have been hatched, in a peculiar longitudinal pouch beneath the tail, into which the former are received, at the time of their exclusion by the female*. The present species breeds in Summer, and at a very early age, sometimes when not exceeding four inches in length. Obs. This and the next were considered by Pennant as mere varieties of one species, to which he applied the name of Shorter Pipe-Fish. The same opinion appears to have been entertained by Montagu †.