Ascending margin of the preopercle nearly vertical: dorsal extending a little beyond the anal; the soft portion scarcely higher than the spinous: branchiostegous membrane with five rays.
L. variegatus, Gmel. Linn. torn. 1. partiii. p. 1294. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. 1. pl. 21. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 99. Turdus perbelle pictus, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 322. tab. X. 3. Sparus formosus, Shaw, Nat. Misc. vol.i. pl. 31. Striped Wrasse, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p.240. pl. 45. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. in. p. 337. pl. 57. Blue-striped Wrasse, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. 1. p. 281. La Vieille rayee, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. 11. p. 255.
From twelve to fourteen inches.
(Form). More elongated than any of the former species: back not much elevated: greatest depth contained four times and one-third in the entire length: thickness rather less than half the depth: dorsal line continuous with the profile; no depression at the nape: head more than one-fourth of the whole length: teeth numerous, conical, sharp, the anterior ones longest, slightly curved; about twenty in the upper, and thirty-five in the lower jaw; a few smaller ones behind: distance from the eye to the end of the snout equalling twice and a half the diameter of the eye; distance between the eyes equalling two diameters; the intervening space very slightly concave: no elevated pores above the orbits: ascending margin of the preopercle nearly vertical, forming with the basal margin a slightly obtuse angle, which angle falls behind the eye and not immediately under it, as in the next species: lateral line high, its course at rather below one-fifth of the depth, bending downwards opposite the termination of the dorsal, but much more gradually than in the species of the first section: number of scales in the lateral line forty-six: dorsal commencing in a line with the pectorals and posterior angle of the opercle; the soft portion scarcely higher than the spinous: anal commencing in a line with the soft portion of the dorsal, but terminating a little before that fin: caudal nearly even, with rows of scales between the rays extending for half their length: pectorals not half the length of the head: ventrals equal to them:
B. 5; D. 17/12 or 13; A. 3/11; C. 13; P. 15; V. 1/5.
(Colours). Back and sides for two-thirds of their depth olivaceous brown, with spots and interrupted longitudinal lines of bluish gray; remainder of the sides orange: head and cheeks like the back; lower jaw, and all beneath the head, bluish gray: dorsal orange, with a large oblong space of bluish gray on its anterior half, occupying three-fourths of the height of the fin; on the posterior half, three round spots of the same colour: anal and ventrals orange-yellow, edged with bluish gray: caudal variegated with the same colours.
* Ray, Syn. Pise. p. 163. rig. 5.
† Hep. An. torn. ii. p. 255. note (2).
Not a very common species. Pennant and Donovan obtained specimens from the coast of Anglesea off the Skerry Islands. According to Mr. Thompson of Belfast, it is occasionally met with on the coast of Ireland. The individual described above is one of two, in the collection of Mr. Yarrell, from the London market. The colours are very variable, and at certain periods of the year extremely beautiful.