The Rockfish - Volume II - Catesby Collection

 

Mark Catesby's Description of the Rockfish

PERCA marina venenosa punctata

These Fish are sometimes found tow or three feet in length, though the common length is about one or one foot and an half. The whole Fish was covered with smooth thin scales of a dark brown colour, very dark on the back and light on the belly, sprinkled over with red spots bordered with black. The eye was deep red: it had five fins; one on the back of different texture, the fore-part having sharp spines, the hind tender and pliant; under the abdomen was another, and another behind the anus, and two behind the gills, the ends of which were yellow. The tail was broad, and a little notched. This Fish has the worst character for its poisonous quality of any other among the Bahama Islands; but whether they are eatable from any particular places, I know not; many of their poisonous Fishes being not so when caught in some places; of which the inhabitants can give a near guess, but sometimes they are miserably deceived.

  
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