1902 Encyclopedia > Murray Cod

Murray Cod

MURRAY COD. Of the numerous freshwater Perches inhabiting the rivers and watercourses of Australia the Murray Cod (Oligorus macquariensis) is one of the largest, if not the largest, and the most celebrated on account of the excellent flavour of its flesh. In conferring upon the fishes of the new country familiar names, the early colonists were evidently guided by the fancied resemblance in taste or appearance to some fish of their northern home rather than by a consideration of their taxonomic affinities. These, as far as the Murray Cod is concerned, lie in the direction of the Perch and not of the Cod family. The shape of the body is that of a Perch, and the dorsal fin consists of a spinous and rayed portion, the number of spines being eleven. The length of the spines varies with age, old individuals having shorter spines, that is, a lower dorsal fin. The form of the head and the dentition also resemble those of a Perch, but none of the bones of the head have a serrated margin. The scales are small. The colour varies in different localities; it is generally brownish, with a greenish tinge and numerous small dark green spots. As implied by the name, this fish has its headquarters in the Murray river and its tributaries, but in occurs also in the northern parts of New Wales. It is the most important food fish of these rivers, and is said to attain to a length of more than 3 feet, and to a weight of 120 lb.

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