L. piscatorius, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. 1. p. 402. Bloch, Ichth. pl. 87. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 115. Don. Brit. Fish. vol. v. pl. 101. Flem. Brit. An. p. 214. Shaw, Nat. Misc. vol. xi. pl. 422. Rana pisca-trix, Will. Hist. Pise. p. 85. tab. E. 1. Common Angler, Penn.
* Wern. Mem. vol. 1. p. 529.
† Brit. An. p. 208.
Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 120. pl. 18. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. iii. p. 159. pl. 21. Fishing-Frog, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 269. La Baudroye commune, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 251.
From three to five feet.
(Fbrm). Head enormously large, occupying more than one-third of the entire length, broad and very much depressed: body tapering suddenly from behind the pectorals: snout obtuse and rounded; gape excessively wide; lower jaw considerably the longest, fringed along its edge with numerous short filaments: teeth conical, of various lengths and sizes, numerous and very sharp; two closely approximating rows in the lower jaw; the same above, but more widely separated; palatines, pha-ryngeans, and middle of the tongue, likewise bristling with teeth: eyes moderate, placed towards the upper part of the head, equally distant from the end of the snout and from each other: orbits above the eyes armed with a number of tooth-like processes, which forming two rows extend backwards to meet on the nape, but do not project through the skin: also two erect spines on each side of the end of the snout: gill-opening in the form of a wide, loose, purse-like cavity immediately beneath the pectorals; opercle small, not appearing externally: skin every-where soft and naked: above the nose, in front of the eyes, two long erect filamentous processes, one before the other, nearly half the length of the head; further down the mesial line, and about as far behind the eyes as the above are before them, another single filament about one-fourth shorter; after the same interval again two others about half the length of the first ones, and a third very short one; these three are sometimes connected at the base by a low membrane, forming a first dorsal; second dorsal commencing after a similar interval taken the third time, of a somewhat semicircular form, its length twice its height and half the length of the head; membrane enveloping the rays thick and fleshy, extending beyond the fin nearly to the caudal; this last even: pectorals in a line with the first of the three posterior dorsal filaments, of an oblong form, the rays of equal length, appearing truncated; their length one-third that of the head: anal similar to the second dorsal, but placed a little nearer the caudal: ventrals a little before the pectorals; the distance between them equalling their own length:
B. 6; D. 2 - 1 - 3 - 11; A. 9 or 10; C. 7 or 8; P. 24 to 26; V. 5.
(Colours). All the upper parts brown, inclining to dusky: beneath white.
Taken occasionally on most parts of the coast. Keeps wholly at the bottom, and is very destructive to other fish. Has no swimming-bladder. Obs. Cuvier speaks of another species belonging to this genus, which may possibly also occur in the British seas. It is principally characterized by having the second dorsal less elevated, and only twenty-five vertebrae, the present species having thirty.
Zool. vol. v. p. 381. Fishing-Frog of Mounts Bay, Borl. Cornw. p. 266. pl. 27. f. 6. Long Angler, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 123.
In the opinion of Cuvier this supposed species is only an altered individual of the common one*. " Found on the shore of Mount's Bay, Aug. 9, 1757." Borl.
* The same may probably be said of the Rana Piscatrix, figured in Leigh's "Natural History of Lancashire," &*c. (p. 186. pl. 6. f. 5).