Art. X.—On the Occurrence of Centrolophus in New Zealand.
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 4th November, 1903.]
Centrolophus, called “blackfish” from its colour, is a pelagic fish found in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic. Early in the year 1893 the Australian Museum at Sydney received a specimen from New Zealand which was described by Mr. Douglas Ogilby as a new species, C, maoricus. On the 16th of last February another specimen of the blackfish was picked up at Sumner by Mr. Thomas Clark, who presented it to the Christchurch Museum. The specimen was considerably damaged by gulls about the head and neck, but it has been preserved in formalin.
It differs from C. maoricus in the more numerous fin-rays, in which respect it comes nearer to C. britannicus of Dr. Gunther (Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., 3, vi., 46), but our fish has more fin-rays even than that species. However, without making a skeleton it is difficult to say exactly where the dorsal fin begins or how many spines it has, for it rises so slowly from the back and the spines are so weak.
The following is a description of the specimen:-
D., 10/47; A., 3/35.
Greatest depth goes 5 ¼ times into the total length. The length of the head goes 5 ½ times into the total. The maxillary reaches to below the front of the eye. The dorsal fin is low and the rays are feeble; it commences above the base of the pectoral.
The scales are minute, and form a sheath along the basal half of the vertical fins.
Colour, dark-brown, without any spots.
Total length, 34 in.; length of the dorsal fin, about 20 in or 21 in.; of the anal, 11 in.