L. Luna, Riss. Hist. Nat. de VEur. Merid. torn. iii. p. 341. Flem. Brit. An. p. 219. Zeus Luna, Gmel. Linn. torn. i. part iii. p. 1225. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. v. pl. 97. Z. imperialis, Shaw, Nat. Misc. vol. iv. pl. 140. Chrysotosa Luna, Lacep. Hist. Nat. des Poiss. torn. iv. p. 587. pi. ix. f. 3. Lampris guttatus, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 211. Opah, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 223. pl. 42. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 299. pl. 46. Sow. Brit. Misc. pl. 22. Opah, or King-Fish, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 173.
From three to four feet and a half.
(Form). Body oval, compressed, greatly diminishing at the tail, which is almost cylindrical: greatest depth (in a specimen three feet six inches long) nearly two feet: thickness not above six inches: mouth small: jaws without teeth: tongue thick, set with reflected prickles: eyes remarkably large: pectorals broad, about eight inches long: dorsal commencing a little behind their insertion, and extending nearly to the caudal; elevated anteriorly to the height of seven inches, but sloping away very suddenly, then continuing low till just at its termination, where it again becomes slightly elevated: ventrals very strong, placed near the middle of the body: anal narrow, running from the vent to the tail: caudal forked, expanding twelve inches. Penn.
D. 54; A. 26; C. 30; P. 28; V. 10: skin smooth: scales scarcely perceptible: lateral line irregular, and somewhat curved at its commencement. Don. (Colours). Back deep blue, inclining to regal purple, below which the purple is glossed in various directions of light with a reddish and golden hue, blending into green upon the sides, and the green fading to yellow as it approaches the silvery white of the abdomen: the whole body covered with numerous large distinct oval silvery spots: all the fins fine scarlet. Don.
Rare; but has been taken in the British seas in several instances; in some cases been found stranded on the coast after storms. Most of the individuals have occurred off Scotland and the Orkney Islands, but one or two on the western coast of England. Has been known to attain the weight of one hundred and forty pounds. Donovan, who has figured a specimen taken in the Frith of Forth, describes the pectoral fins as much longer than usually represented by British writers: he states that when placed erect, they reach even above the back. This species is not noticed either by Willughby or Ray.