Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 63.djvu/16

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trunk-fish he thought different, having two spines on the tail, while Lister's figure seemed to show one spine ahove it. This Nagg's Head specimen Artedi called Ostracion triangulabus duobus aculeis in fronte et totidem in imo ventre subcaudalesque binis."

Next came Linnæus, 1758, who named Lister's figure and the species it represented Ostracion tricornis, which should in strictness have heen Ostracion tricorne, as ὀστραχἱον, is a neuter diminutive. The Kagg's Head fish he named Ostracion quadricornis. The right name is Ostracion tricornis, because the name tricornis stands first on the page; but Ostracion quadricornis has been most used by subsequent authors, it being nearer correct as a descriptive phrase.

In 1798, Lacépède changed the name of Lister's fish to Ostracion listeri, a needless alteration which could only make confusion.

In 1818, Professor Mitchill, receiving a specimen from below New Orleans, thought it different from tricornis and quadricornis and called it Ostracion sex-cornutus. Hollard in 1857 named a specimen Ostracion maculatus, and at about the same time Bleeker named two others from Africa which seem to be the same thing, Ostracion guineensis and Ostracion gronovii. Lastly Poey calls a specimen from Cuba Acanthostracion polygonius, thinking it different from all the rest, which it may be, though the chances are to the contrary.

This brings up the question of the generic name. Among trunkfishes there are four-angled and three-angled kinds, and in each form species with and without horns and spines. The original Ostracion of Linnæus we may interpret as being based on Ostracion culicus of the coasts of Asia. This we call the type species of the genus, as the Nagg's Head specimen of Artedi was the type specimen of the species quadricornis, or the one that was used for Lister's figure, the type specimen of tricornis.

Cubicus is a four-angled species, and when the trunk-fishes were regarded as a family, Ostraciidæ, the three-angled ones, were set off as a separate genus. For these forms two names were offered, both by Swainson in 1839. For trigonus, a species without horns before the eyes, he gave the name Lactophrys, and for triqueter, a species without spines anywhere, the name of Rhinesomus. Several recent American authors have placed the three-cornered species, which are all American, in one genus, which must therefore be called Lactophrys. Of this name Rhinesomus is a synonym, and our species should stand as Lactophrys tricornis. The fact that Lactophrys, as a word (from Latin lactus, smooth, Greek ὀφρὐς, eyebrow; or else from lactoria, a milk cow and ὀφρὐς) is either meaningless or incorrect makes no difference with the necessity for its use.

In 1862, Bleeker undertook to divide these fishes differently. Placing all the hornless species, whether three-angled or four-angled in