Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 1, p. 282.
282 THE I-DI-LV EJIIPIRE
water of another family (Ophidiidae), of which previously only
five were known from the seas of India.
The Pleuronectidae, or Flat Fishes, are numerous; for in
addition to the thirty-nine species enumerated by Day, no less
than thirty additional forms have been obtained by the Investi-
gator's researches. But although several are eaten, none of the
species have the high repute attaching to the sole and turbot of
the North Atlantic.
Lopho- The Pipe-fishes and Sea-horses are so unlike ordinary fishes
branchii. that it is not easy at first to recognize their affinities. They
are encased in a dermal skeleton, and their gills are not
laminated but composed of rounded tufts, while the gill open-
ings are very small. The members of the genus hIippiocavipus
have prehensile tails, and attach themselves to seaweed. All
are very poor swimmers. Several species are found in Indian
Plecto- The 'File-fishes,' 'Globe-fishes,' and their allies are also
gnathi. well represented in the seas of India, and one or two species of
Te/rodon are found in rivers. _Most of the genera are more or
less globose in form; and Telrodon has the power of blowing
itself out into a ball when removed from the water, thus erect-
ing its dermal spines. The Sea Hedgehog (]Diodon) bears far
larger and stronger spines, and adopts the same method of
raising them. The flesh of several species, both of file-fishes
like Balistes and of Tetrodon, is poisonous; but certain kinds
are eaten by the Burmese and Andamanese.
In conclusion, it should be mentioned that the Lancelet
(Baranchiostozma or Aiiphioxus), the lowest of fishes, without
head or brain, and placed by many naturalists in a distinct
class, is not uncommon in the seas around India. It is in fact
W. T. BLANFORD.