L. argyreus, Cuv. Beg. An. torn. ii. p. 217. Cuv. et Vol. Poiss. torn. viii. p. 163. pl. 223. L. Lusitanicus, Leach, Zool. Misc. vol. ii. p. 7. pl. 62. L. tetradens, Flem. Brit. An. p. 205. Van-dellius Lusitanicus, Shaw, Gen. Zool. vol. iv. p. 199. Zipotheca tetradens, Mont, in Wern. Mem. vol. i. p. 82. pls. 2, & 3. Id. vol. ii. p. 432. Scabbard-Fish, Penn. Brit. Zool. (Ed. 1812). vol. iii. p. 210. Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 176.
From four to six feet.
(Form). Ensiform, much compressed, and equally cari-nated above and below, except the head, which is flat on the top: depth at the gills (in a specimen five feet six inches long) four inches and a half, continuing nearly the same to the vent, from thence decreasing, at first gradually, but afterwards more suddenly; portion of the tail beyond the termination of the anal nearly round: head porrected, conic; lower jaw longest by half an inch, terminating in a callous fleshy projection: in each jaw an irregular row of extremely sharp-pointed teeth, standing very conspicuous, even when the jaws are closed; those below, about twenty on each side; above, not quite so numerous, but in this jaw four large teeth in front, not found in the other; two fore-teeth approximating; and two larger canine, rather crooked and compressed, with a slight process or barb on the inside near the point: tongue smooth: a row of minute teeth on each palatine: eyes very large, lateral, independent, not covered with the common skin: pectorals five inches long; the lower rays twice the length of the upper ones: instead of ventrals, two oblong silvery scales, half an inch in length, partly detached from the body, and connected at the base; their situation considerably behind the pectorals: vent in the middle: anal commencing at about one-sixth of the entire length from the posterior extremity, and running nearly to the caudal: dorsal commencing at the nape and extending uninterruptedly till opposite the termination of the anal: caudal forked:
D. 105; A. 17; P. 12.
Lateral line slightly elevated: skin quite smooth, destitute of scales. (Colour). Like burnished silver, with a bluish tint. Mont.
First described as British by Montagu, from a specimen taken in Sal-comb Harbour on the coast of South Devon, June 4th, 1808. Said to have been swimming with great velocity, with its head above water. According to Fleming, a second individual, only ten inches in length, occurred on the Devon coast in February 1810. Mr. Yarrell mentions two others which were also obtained from the southern shores of England. Obs. Cuvier, in his description of this species, observes that the number of large hooked teeth in the upper jaw ought to be six, but that two or three are generally found broken. He also speaks of a triangular moveable scale a little behind the vent, not noticed by Montagu; and states further, that in his specimens, the anal rays amounted to twenty five, but a a2 that some of the anterior ones are so small and slender as easily to he overlooked. Number of vertebrae given as one hundred and eleven. Cuvier would seem to be of an opinion, that there is no other well ascertained species belonging to this genus.