B. Capriscus, Gmel. Linn. torn. 1. part iii. p. 1471. Cuv. Reg. An. torn. 11. p. 372. Capriscus Rondeletii, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 152. tab. I. 19. Le Baliste Caprisque, Lacep. Hist. Nat. des Poiss. torn. 1. p. 372. Mediterranean File-Fish, Shaw, Gen. Zool. vol. v. partii. p. 411. pl. 168*.

Length

From one to two feet. Shaw.

Description

{Form). Head very much compressed: mouth small: each jaw armed with eight large, broad, strong teeth, forming a continuous series: eyes round, placed high: first dorsal nearly in the middle of the back, consisting of three strong spines connected by a membrane, the first three times as large as either of the other two; when at rest, concealed in an osseous furrow on the ridge of the back; these spines are so articulated as only to admit of being elevated or depressed all together: second dorsal long, reaching nearly to the caudal: anterior portion of the abdomen armed with a sharp strong recurved bone, the extremity of which projects out of the skin in a backward direction; between this and the vent are several other much smaller, but moderately strong, serrated spines: anal similar to the dorsal, commencing behind the vent: tail becoming suddenly narrow, and terminating in a broad fin: pectorals small and round: ventrals wanting. Will. {Colours). "General colour violaceous gray, sometimes variegated both on the body and fins with blue or red spots: irides yellow; pupils blue." Shaw.

A single individual of this species, which is a native of the Mediterranean, as well as of the American seas, is recorded by Mr. Children to have been captured on the Sussex coast in August, 1827*. Not previously known as a British fish. Most of the species belonging to this genus inhabit the Tropics.

* See his Address to the Zoological Club of the Linncean Society, p. 6.

(II. CARTILAGINEI).