Umbla Minor, marina maxillus longioribus: Barracuda.
This Fish grows to a large Size; some of them I have seen ten Feet
in Length, and some I was told are much longer, tho' the more common
Length is that of about six or eight Feet. It is long in Proportion
to its Thickness. And in Shape resembles somewhat the European
Pike; the Eyes are large and bright, the Mouth is very wide, having
the under Jaw longer than the upper; the upper Jaw is armed with
four large Teeth, placed at the fore Part of the under Jaw Next
the Head are placed ten smaller Teeth, being five on each Side;
and in the forepart of the same Jaw grows one single large Tooth.
On the Back grow two short Fins, distant from one another, with
six Ribs in each Fin; near the Gills grow two more at a like Distance,
lower on the Belly, was another Pair, and a single one a little
behind the Anus; in all seven Fins. The Tail wide and forked.
This Fish was covered with thin Scales of a middling Size; dark
brown on the Back, lightning gradually to the Belly, which was white.
It is a swift Swimming, and very voracious Fish, preying on most
others; and some of the largest Size have frequently attacked and
devoured Men as they were washing in the Sea. They are in great
Plenty in all the shallow Seas of the Bahama-Islands, and
in many other Places between the Tropicks, the Flesh has
a very rank and disagreeable Savour both to the Nose and Palate,
and are frequently poisonous, causing great Sickness, Vomiting,
and intolerable Pain in the Head, with loss of Hair and Nails; yet
the hungry Bahamians, frequently repast on their unwholesome
The Length of this Fish is usually about sixteen inches and very
small and tapering towards the Tail, which is remarkably wide and
forked: The Mouth is pretty wide with a single Row of small sharp
Teeth in each Mandible. It is covered with somewhat large thin Scales
of an Umber Colour on the Back and whitish on the Belly. It hath
five Fins, one on the Back, another a little below it on the Belly;
and another between that and the Tail, with a Pair under the Gills.