B. Raii, Cuv. et Vol. Poiss. torn. vii. p. 210. pl. 190. Sparus Raii, Block, Ichth. pl. 273. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. ii. pl. 37. S. niger, Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 98. Brama marina cauda forcipata, Ray, Syn. Pise. p. 115. Will. Hist. Pise. App. p. 17. tab. V. 12. B. marina, Flem. Brit. An. p. 210. La Castagnole, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 194. Toothed Gilt-head, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. in. p. 243. pl. 43. Mont, in Linn. Trans, vol. vii. p. 292. Ray's Bream, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 117.
From twenty-six to thirty inches. Cuv.
(Form). Body deep, compressed, elongated posteriorly: snout rounded, very obtuse, the profile falling rapidly from the forer head: mouth oblique, approaching to vertical when the jaws are closed: upper jaw with an outer row of sharp slender teeth, and a narrow band of smaller ones behind; in the lower jaw two rows of similar teeth, with smaller ones between; those in the inner row curving inwards and stronger than the others; more particularly two or four in front of the lower jaw so much produced as to appear like true canines: palatines also with card-like teeth, hut none on the vomer or tongue: eyes very large: cheeks and gill-covers scaly: lateral line indistinct; its course parallel to the hack at one-fourth of the depth: dorsal commencing ahove the insertion of the pectorals; its length nearly half the entire length; three spinous rays gradually increasing; second and third soft rays longest, equalling nearly one-third of the depth; fourth to the ninth gradually decreasing; rest of the fin even, its height at this part only one-third that of the anterior portion: anal resembling the dorsal in form; commencing a little behind it, but terminating in the same vertical line: caudal crescent-shaped; the lobes long and pointed, equal: pectorals one-fourth of the whole length, pointed; sixth and seventh rays longest: ventrals very small, only one-quarter the length of the pectorals, placed immediately beneath them; at the base of their external margin a large triangular scaly plate; beneath, on the inner margin, another smaller one:
D. 3/33; A. 2/28; C. 26; P. 19; V. 1/6: all the vertical fins with nearly their whole surface covered with small scales. (Colours). Dull silvery, towards the back tinged with brown: vertical fins brownish ground, with silvery scales: pectorals and ventrals yellowish.
First described by Ray from a specimen found on the sands at low water near the mouth of the Tees, Sept. 18, 1681. Since then several other individuals have occurred at different times on various parts of the British coast. Common in the Mediterranean. Weight from ten to twelve pounds. According to Cuvier, spawns in Summer, and during that season is much tormented by intestinal worms. The only European species belonging to this genus. Obs. Cuvier is of opinion that the Chcetodon mentioned by Mr. Couch as taken at Looe in Cornwall, Aug. 1821 *, was only an individual of this species.