Greenish or yellowish brown, marbled with dusky: dorsals separate; the posterior one rounded, just reaching to the caudal.

P. marinus, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. 1. p. 394. Block, Ichth. pl. 77. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. iv. pl. 81. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 109. Flem. Brit. An. p. 163. Blainv. Faun. Franc, p. 5. pl. 1. f. 1, & 2. Lampetra Rondeletii, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 105. tab. G. 2. f. 2. Sea Lamprey, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 76. pi. 8. no. 27. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 102. pl. 10. Bowd. Brit. fr. wat. Fish. Draw. no. 26. La Grande Lamproye, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. 11. p. 404.

Length

From two to two and a half feet; sometimes more.

Description

(Form). Anguilliform: body thick and cylindric anteriorly, compressed and somewhat tapering beyond the commencement of the dorsal fin: head indistinct, obtuse and obliquely truncated in front, rather depressed above the eyes: mouth very large, circular, bordered by a fleshy lip, studded on the inside with corneous conical tooth-like papillae disposed in concentric rows, and gradually increasing in size as they advance inwards; beyond these one large tooth below, in the middle, with six or eight points, the extreme points being the most developed; answering to it above a similar tooth, also in the middle, but with only two points; tongue with two pairs of crenated teeth: eyes large, lateral, a little in advance of the first branchial opening: a single nostril on the top of the head, in the middle, a little in advance of the eyes, moderately large: line of the branchial apertures a little below the level of the eyes, and rather inclining downwards posteriorly: skin every-where smooth and naked: two distinct dorsals: the first commencing beyond the middle of the entire length, short and low, of a somewhat semicircular form: second commencing a little behind the first, more elevated, and attaining its greatest height rather suddenly, afterwards sloping gradually off, and finally terminating immediately before the caudal: vent very much behind, beneath the anterior portion of the second dorsal, and at nearly, but not quite, three-fourths of the entire length: caudal rounded at the extremity, giving a truncated appearance to the tail, the fleshy portion of which, however, is pointed; underneath, the caudal is continued for a little way towards the vent, sinking gradually into a low ridge representing the anal. {Colours). Above, greenish or yellowish brown, marbled with dark brown and dusky: beneath, white, tinged with reddish.

A migratory species, entering rivers from the sea early in the Spring to spawn, and returning after the expiration of a few months. Common in many parts of Great Britain, but said to be more abundant in the Severn than in most other rivers. Attains to the weight of between four and five pounds. Has the power of adhering very firmly to stones with its circular mouth, by means of suction. Flesh much esteemed. Obs. It was formerly supposed that in this and the next species the two sexes were united in the same individual; this has, however, been since proved to be erroneous *.