Sea Raven, an acanthopterous fish of the bullhead or sculpin family, and genus hemi-tripterus (Cuv.), one of the ugliest of this ugly group. The head is flattened, rough, and spiny; the pectorals are large and wing-like, advancing far under the throat, and with no free rays; ventrals under the pectorals, consisting of a spine and three or four soft rays; the first dorsal deeply notched, and all the fin rays simple; the head and jaws are furnished with numerous cutaneous branching filaments, which with the spines and huge mouth render the physiognomy of the fish anything but pleasing; there are sharp, card-like teeth on the jaws, vomer, palate, and pharyngeal bones; the tongue is smooth, the branchiostegal rays six, and the body without scales. The typical species is the common sea raven (H. Acadi-anus, Storer), called also the Acadian bullhead and deep-water sculpin; it attains a length of 2 ft. and a weight of 4 or 5 lbs. The colors present every shade of dark brown, blood red, pinkish purple, and yellowish brown, with various markings and bands; yellowish white below.
The form is sculpin-like; the head is large, about a quarter of the whole length, with enormous gape and hideous appearance; the whole body above the lateral line is granulated, and thickly studded with tubercles; the first three rays of the first dorsal are longest, and with the other rays of this fin are fringed at the end. It is not unfrequently taken on hooks by cod fishermen in deep water in Nova Scotia, in the gulf of St. Lawrence, and near the New England and New York coasts, especially around the ledges of Massachusetts bay. Like the land raven, it is omnivorous and voracious, acting the part of a useful scavenger in removing decaying matters.
Common Sea Raven (Hemitripterus Acadianus).