General Zoology. Pisces

George Shaw


General Character

Caput squamis difformibus tectum. Head coated with dissimilar scales.
Corpus elongatum. Body elongated.

Punctuated Ophicephalus

Ophicephalus Punctatus. O. nicgricans, subtus pallidor, capite poroso, corpore nigro-punctulato.
Head Dusky Ophicephalus, paler beneath, with the head pierced by pores, and the body speckled with black points.
Ophicephalus punctatus Bloch. t. 358
Length about ten inches: dorsal fin commencing at no great distance: from the head, and continued nearly to the tail: it is of moderate breadth, and of a dusky colour spotted with black; anal fin of similar shape and colour: tail rounded: pectoral fins rounded, and of moderate size: ventral smaller: scales rather large; those on the head dissimilar, viz. on the upper part angular, as in snakes: on the sides ovate or rounded: lateral line nearly strait. Native of India, inhabiting rivers lakes, and is considered as a delicate and wholesome food.
C. punctata copied from the drawing of M. E. BlochO. punctata, a copy of the drawing by M. E. Bloch.

Striated Ophicephalus

Ophicephalus Striatus. O. nicgricans, abdomine pinnisque albido fuscoque striatis.
Head Dusky Ophicephalus, with the abdomen and fins striated with dusky and whitish variegations.
Ophicephalus striatus Bloch. t. 359
Length about twelve inches: shape rather longer than that of the preceding species: abdomen whitish, varied with obliquely transverse blotches or streaks: dorsal and anal fin of similar proportions to those of the former species, and of a pale colour, marked by numerous obliquely transverse narrow dusky stripes: tail, pectoral and ventral fins rounded: scales rather large: teeth rather small, sharp, and of equal size. Native of India inhabiting lakes, where it often grows to a much larger size than first mentioned: it is in esteem as a food with the former species, and even recommended as a proper diet for convalescents: native name Wrahl .

Acknowledgement and Source(s)

This passage was originally published in: General Zoology. Pisces . 1803, volume IV part II. pp. 528-530.

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