DRUM-FISH, Pogonias chromis, of the family SCIENID2E, a fish allied to the sheep's head, and inhabiting the shores of the United States, from New York to Florida, in schools. They vary from 2 to 4 ft. in length, and 15 to 18 in. in breadth, weighing front 10 to 25 lbs. Sometimes they are larger, weighing as much as 80 lbs. Scales large, stout, oblique; teeth on the jaws in a band. Pha•yngeals with large paved teeth. Tongue broad, short, smooth; branchial rays, seven; dorsal fin has 10 stout, flattened rays, capable of being concealed in a furrow. Second dorsal fin rises at the termination of the first; pectoral fins large and pointed; air-bladder large and thick coated; spleen very long; stomach thick and muscular, with strong muscular columns; vertebrae, 24; color, bronze to red, rather lighter beneath, with a blackish spot behind the pectoral. There are two varieties according to De one dark brown, the black drum of the fishermen, the other the red drum. They are coarse food, but the young are regarded as a delicacy. The fish of this genus are remarkable on account of the noise which they make under water, which resembles that of a distant drum, and there is a differ ence of opinion as to the cause. Cuvier thought it had some connection with the air bladder; De Kay attributes it to the compressing together of the broad pharyngeal teeth, and so do most of the fishermen, hut they also believe that the trituration of the shell-fish upon which they feed is the more immediate cause of the sound. They often
afford good sport in the catching; the line is baited with soft clams or muscles, the shell being left on.
There is another species of drum-fish described and figured by De Kay, the pogo nias fasciatus, much smaller, from 7 to 10 in. long, having four or five blackish ver tical bands extending down the sides; the pectoral fins are a faint yellow, the others dark brown. This has been supposed to be the young of the P. chromis, but De Kay has seen them 6 in. long in Sept., having all the characteristics of the adult fish. Its teeth and jaws, as well as stomach, resemble those of the larger fish. It has various names, as young drum, grunter, and young as a component member of a regiment, was not much known in the •English army till the time of Charles I. There was in earlier times an officer iu the royal household called the general, without whose license no one except royal troops might use a drum; but this office fell into disuse. The drum-major, when regularly established, received orders from the major of the battalion concerning the neces sary beats or signals, and communicated them to the drummers. The management of the big drum, and the teaching and control of the drummers generally, still devolve upon the drum-major. The "beats" at present adopted by the British infantry were composed by drum-major Potter of the Coldstream guards.