(1. Scomber, Cuv).
First dorsal with twelve rays: lower part of the sides and abdomen plain silvery.
S. Scomber, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 492. Bloch, Ichth. pl. 54. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. v. pl. 120. S. vulgaris, Flem. Brit. An. p. 217. Mackrell, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 181. tab. M. 3. Common Mackrell, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 264. pl. 51. Mackerel, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 121. Le Maquereau commun, Cuv. et Val. Poiss. torn. viii. p. 5.
From sixteen to eighteen inches.
(Form). Body compressed, fusiform, tapering to a point before the caudal fin: depth behind the ventrals one-sixth of the length, caudal excluded; thickness half the depth: head a compressed cone, one-fourth of the whole length, measured to the commencement of the profile slightly convex: jaws about equal: teeth small but numerous, in a single row on the edge of each jaw, as well as on the palatines; longer and more slender teeth on the pharyngeans: diameter of the eye one-fifth the length of the head: interopercle and subopercle much developed: first dorsal commencing at one-third of the whole length from the end of the snout; of a triangular form; rising from a deep groove, in which it is entirely concealed when laid back; second ray longest, equalling two-thirds of the depth beneath; last ray extremely short: space between the dorsals one-sixth of the whole length: second only half as high as the first; its length twice its height; first ray spinous; the next two articulated but simple; the rest articulated and branched: between it and the caudal five spurious finlets; each consisting of one branched ray; the last double: anal similar to the second dorsal, and followed by the same number of spurious finlets; before its base, immediately behind the vent, a small free spine: caudal forked nearly to the extremity of the tail itself; the central rays only one-fourth the length of the lateral ones: pectorals small, not half the length of the head; third ray longest; all except the first two branched: ventrals a little behind them, and somewhat shorter, triangular; first ray spinous but slender; the rest soft and branched:
* Linn. Trans, vol. xiv. p. 78 caudal fork.
B. 7; D. 11 or 12 - 1/11, and V false; A. 1 - 1/11, and V false; C. 17;
P. 18 or 19; V. 1/5: two cutaneous ridges on each side of the tail, forming a double keel. Number of vertebra? thirty-one. (Colours). Back, and sides above the lateral line, rich green varied with blue, with dark transverse bands; belly and lower part of the sides silvery white: dorsal, caudal, and pectoral fins, dusky; ventrals and anal reddish.
Gregarious: approaches the shore in large shoals to spawn early in the Spring, and retires at the end of the Summer to deep water. Weight about two pounds; but, according to Pennant, has been known in one instance to exceed five. Has no swimming bladder.