Plate Number: II 22
Turdus Oculo Radiato Guaperva Maxima Caudata: The Old Wife
The usual Size of this Fish is nearly that of the Figure, tho' some are twice as big, but I don't remember any exceeding that. It is broad and somewhat flat, tapering away gradually, both towards the Head and Tail; The Mouth is very small, armed with about twelve Teeth; The Lips of a brown colour; bordered with blue; from a little above the Nose runs a curved broad Lift of Blue towards the Throat, parallel to it from the Corner of the Mouth extends another narrower blue Line; About one third Part from the Nose towards the Back, are placed the Eyes, of a deep yellow Colour, from which are displayed irregularly nine or ten blue Rays; It had six Fins, two seemed as if they were designed for Defence only; one of which was placed on the middle of the Back, and another of the same Size opposite to it under the Belly, that on the Back had three very strong sharp Bones, the foremost largest, the Fin under the Belly had one only of these large pointed Bones; Between the upper armed Fin and the Tail was placed a large pliant Fin, widening from the Tail gradually towards the forepart and running into a tapering Whip or Flagellum; Opposite to this and under the Anus was another such like broad Fin, but without the Flagellum as that above, or possibly it might have been broken off The Tail very wide and forked, shooting into very long Points: Below the Gills on each Side were placed a broad pliant light-coloured Fin, a little curved or turning up; From the Ridge of the Back extends obliquely towards the Belly six obscure dusky Lines; The Body of the Fish is brown, except that the Belly and Throat are lightest, with a Mixture of reddish Yelow; The two hindmost Fins were of a solid dark Blue, but verged with bright Blue. They are tolerable good Fish when their rough Skin is stripped off. All the Fish of this Form I have observed to be slow Swimmers, and that they are a Prey to the larger and voracious Kinds, and tho' Nature seems not to have left them altogether defenceless, their Enemies generally evade the Danger of their Weapons by biting the hind part of the Body short off, but as the Nature of all rapacious Animals is to pursue and devour with furious Eagerness, I conjecture that sometimes by advancing a little too far they are caught by these sharp Bones, one entering the upper, and the other the lower Jaw which keeps the Mouth from closing, the Consequence of which is that the Devourer will soon be drowned except he can instantly extricate himself from his Prey: An Instance of which I shall relate in the Account of the Water Viper.