Eye-side of the body light reddish brown; dorsal, anal, and caudal fins with dusky spots.
Pleuronectes Lingula, Hanmer in Penn. Brit. Zool. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 313. pl. 48. P. variegatus, Don. Brit. Fish. vol. v. pi. 117. Solea variegata, Flem. Brit. An. p. 197. S. Mangilii, Bonap. Faun. Ital. Fasc. v. Solea parva, sive Lingula, Rondel. Pise. p. 324. Will. Hist. Pise. p. 102. tab. F. 8. fig. 1.
From six to nine inches.
(Form). Very much resembling the Common Sole, but remarkably distinguished by the small size of the pectorals, that on the eye-side being less than one-eighth the length of the head, that on the side opposite scarcely perceptible: body rather thicker in proportion than in that species; the breadth hardly so great, equalling just one-third of the entire length, excluding caudal: eyes rather nearer together; the upper one a little in advance: scales of a different form; oblong, but always contracted about the middle; their free edges set with more numerous denticles, varying from eighteen to twenty-one in number: dorsal and anal fins with fewer rays, and not approaching quite so near the caudal:
B. 6; D. 77; A. 62; C. 19; P. (Right) 4; V. 5.
In other respects the two species are similar. (Colours). " Upper side a very light brown, tinged with red; the scales shewing a pattern, something like that of the Common Sole, though in proportion coarser; the dorsal, anal, and caudal fins, marked with brown or blackish spots, extending some lines to the body of the fish." Hanmer.
A local species obtained by Mr. Hanmer from the coast near Plymouth, where it is said to be common in the Spring. It is probably the same as the Pleuronectes variegatus of Donovan, which was procured by that naturalist in Billingsgate market, and which is said to have been since found at Rothsay, in Scotland*. The specimen from which the above description was taken, was caught at Weymouth, and is now in the Museum of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. It appears to differ from Mr. Hanmer's fish in its colours, but as these were not observed in the recent state, and may possibly have been altered by the preserving-liquor, I have suppressed any notice of them, and substituted a part of Mr. Hanmer's description. It also differs in the larger number of dorsal fin-rays, which amount, in Mr. Hanmer's fish, to about sixty-eight. Further observation is necessary in order to decide whether, in this instance, I have confounded two nearly allied species.
* Loudon's Mag. of Nat. Hist. vol. vi. p. 530.