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The females of fishes are larger1 in size than the males, and in some kinds there are no males2 at all, as in the erythini3 and the channi;4 for all of these that are taken are found to be full of eggs. Nearly all kinds of fish that are covered with scales are gregarious. They are most easily taken before sunrise;5 for then more particularly their powers of seeing are defective. They sleep during the night; and when the weather is clear, are able to see just as well then as during the day. It is said, also, that it greatly tends to promote their capture to drag the bottom of the water, and that by so doing more are taken at the second haul6 than at the first. They are especially fond of the taste of oil, and find nutriment in gentle showers of rain. Indeed, the very reeds,7 even, although they are produced in swamps, will not grow to maturity without the aid of rain: in addition to this, we find that wherever fishes remain constantly in the same water, if it is not renewed they will die.

1 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. v. e. 5. Cuvier remarks, that this is true, and more especially during the spawning season.

2 Aristotle says the same, but with the expression of some doubt as to the truth of the assertion. B. vi. c. 13.

3 The erythinus is supposed to be the roach, or rochet, of the present day, and the channe, the ruff or perch. Ovid, in his Halieuticon, 1. 107, alludes to the same notion that is here mentioned: "And the channe, that reproduces itself, deprived of two-fold parents." Cuvier remarks, that, wonderful as these assertions may be, they are not devoid, to all appearance, of a certain foundation; for that Cavolini has observed in the Perca cabrilla and Perca scriba of Linnæus, a species of hermaphroditism; the ovary having always in the interior a lobe, which, from its conformation, would appear to be for the milt; and that he is strongly of opinion that in this species, and some others of the same genus, all the fish produce eggs, and fecundate them themselves.

4 Cuvier says, that the channe is the Perca cabrilla of Linnæus, one of the serrans or trumpet-fish of the coasts of Provence. According to Forskal, Fauna Arabica, and Sonnini, it still has the name among the Turks and modern Greeks, of "chani," or "channo," and it was in these that Cavolini observed the singular organization previously mentioned. According to Athenæus, B. vii., Aristotle has described this fish as of a red colour, variegated with black rays, which answers very well to the Perca scriba of Linnæus, approaching most nearly to the Perca cabrilla.

5 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. viii. c. 75.

6 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. viii. c. 7.

7 Aristotle makes the same remark, Hist. Anim. B. viii. c. 25.

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