(1. Blennius, Cuv).
* Head with two or more tentaculiform appendages.
Head with two principal appendages: dorsal bilobated; the anterior lobe much elevated, marked with an ocellated spot.
B. ocellaris, Block, Ichth. pl. 167. f. 1. Mont, in Wern. Mem. vol. 11. p. 443. pl. 22. f. 2. Flem. Brit. An. p. 206. Butterfly-Fish, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 131. tab. H. 3. f. 2. Ocellated Blenny, or Butterfly-Fish, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. 1. p. 223. Le Blennie papillon, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. 11. p. 237.
From four to six inches.
(Form). Sides much compressed: greatest depth contained three times and a half in the whole length, caudal excluded: thickness rather more than half the depth: head rounded anteriorly, very obtuse; snout short; profile nearly vertical: jaws equal: teeth numerous, closely compacted, the last in the series on each side above and below hooked, and longer than the others: eyes large, high on the cheeks; the space between narrow and concave: above each eye a narrow tentaculiform appendage, slightly branched on its posterior margin, equalling in length one-third that of the head; considerably behind the eyes, on each side of the occiput, a minute membranaceous flap: lateral line proceeding from the upper angle of the opercle at one-fourth of the depth, but bending suddenly down about the middle of the body, where it alters its course to half the depth: dorsal commencing at the occiput, and extending very nearly to the caudal, with which, however, it is not continuous, as in the next species; the first eleven rays soft, but not articulated; first much longer than any of the others, and more than equalling the whole depth of the body; the succeeding ones gradually decreasing to the eleventh, which is the shortest in the whole fin; beyond the eleventh the rays again lengthen, the twelfth being twice the length of the preceding one; all the rays in this portion of the fin articulated, but not branched: anal commencing under the twelfth ray of the dorsal, and answering to the posterior lobe of that fin; the two fins terminating exactly in the same line: caudal rounded; rays branched; the two outermost above and below excepted: pectorals the length of the head, slightly pointed; all the rays simple: ventrals one-fourth shorter than the pectorals, narrow and pointed, of three simple rays, the middle one longer than the other two:
D. 11/15; A. 17; C. 11, and 2 short; P. 12; V. 3.
(Colours). "Pale rufous brown, mixed with bluish gray, and slightly tinged with green in some parts; the sides of the head, throat, and branchiostegous rays, spotted with rufous brown: the dorsal fin also a little spotted and barred with olive-brown and white; between the sixth and eighth rays, a roundish purple-black spot, sometimes surrounded with white." Mont.
First noticed as a British species by Montagu, who obtained three specimens from an oyster-bed at Torcross, on the south coast of Devon, in 1814. A fourth, likewise British, from which the above description was taken, is in the collection of Mr. Yarrell. This last occurred among the rocks of the Island of Portland. In one of Montagu's examples the ocellated spot was so ill-defined, that he was led to suspect it may sometimes be altogether wanting. He observed that those in which the ocellated spot was most perfect, had the first dorsal ray very long. Not an uncommon species in the Mediterranean.