CERNIOLA   
                    

                         In my research, I also discovered the term ‘Cerniola’. In Italian, this means fish or little fish. The word has its roots in the Italian
                         word cernia and the Late Latin acernia.  Perhaps in naming a group of parasitic isopods, he used an anagram of the name of the
                         Ihost animal. But would Leach have been familiar with the term cerniola? I believe there is a good chance that he was.

                         IIn 1801, Bloch & Schneider named a species Polyprion americanus. This particular fish has many taxonomical synonyms and
                         Ia wide variety of common names in many languages.  Some of the common names include Atlantic Wreckfish or Stone-Bass
                         in English; cernia and cerniola in Italian; cernier in French.  Taxonomical synonyms include Polyprion cernium and Scorpaena
          
               massiliensis. The latter name was coined by a Niçard naturalist , Giuseppe Antonio Risso.   Risso published several texts
                         on natural history including books on the fish and crustaceans of Nice.  He was also a correspondent and good friend of Leach’s. 1

                         In his Icthyologie de Nice (1810), Risso describes the species Scorpaena massiliensis 2. I do not now at what time Risso and Leach
                         began their friendship, but Leach was aware of Risso’s work as early as 1815, well before his mysterious anagrams appeared. 
                         In the second volume of Leach’s Zoological Miscellany, Risso’s Ichthyologie is mentioned. 3 Another possible link between
                         Leach and this particular fish is in the collections of the British Museum. In 1851,the List of the Specimens of British Animals in the
          
               Collection of the British Museum was published.  In the volume dedicated to fish, it lists Polyprion cernium or Stone-Basse. 4
                         Although I do not know the accession date of this specimen, there is chance that it had been in the museum’s collection during
                         Leach’s lifetime.


                                   1 After Leach’s breakdown, he and his sister traveled to Italy, where they visited Risso from the winter of 1824 to the summer of 1825.
                                   2 Harrison, p.184
                                   3 William Elford Leach. The Zoological Miscellany; being Descriptions of New, or Interesting Animals, Volume II.  London,1815, p. 8. Also mention of Risso’s Doclean on p.42.
                                   4 Harrison, p.12