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And continuing the subject, the philosopher says again, “The purple-fish therefore being all collected together in the spring at the same place, make what is called melicera. And that is something like honeycomb, but not indeed so elegant, but it is as if a great number of the husks of white vetches were fastened together; and there is no open passage in any of them: nor are the purple-fish born of this melicera, but they, and nearly all other shell-fish, are produced Of mud and putrefaction; and this is, as it were, a kind of purification both for them and for the purple-fish, for they too make this melicera. And when they begin to make it, they emit a sort of sticky mass, from which those things grow which resemble husks. All these are eventually separated, and they drop blood on the ground. And in the place where hey do so, there are myriads of little purple-fish born, adhering to one another in the ground, and the old purple-fish are caught while carrying them. And if they are caught before they have produced their young, they sometimes produce them in the very pots in which they are caught when collected together in them, and the young look like a bunch of grapes. [p. 148] And there are many different kinds of purple-fish; and some of them are of large size, like those which are found near Segeum and near Lesteum; and some are small, like those which are found in the Euripus, and around Caria. And those in the gulfs are large and rough, and most of them are of a black colour, but some of them are rather red; and some of the large ones even weigh a mina. But those which are found on the shore and around the coasts are of no great size, but are of a red colour: and again, those in the waters exposed to the north wind are black, and those in the waters exposed to the south wind are generally red.”
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