The mermen of the Mediterranean.

They have some resemblance to the mermen of other waters, but are much less attractive in character and appearance. Apart from a fishlike tail they also have scales on their torsos, sharp fish's teeth, and webbed fingers with long claws. Like mermen of the northern sea, they can change their tails to legs and walk upon the land.

Northern mermen sometimes fall in love with human females, but tritons have no concept of the tender emotion. Whenever they go ashore they behave worse than drunken sailors on spree. They get disgustingly drunk, ravish any females who stray within their grasp, and vandalise the seaport towns. Landlubbers often have to resort to violence totid themselves of a gang of tritons. One community suffered so badly from a drunken triton that they cut off his head while he lay snoring on the beach.

Strangely, old father Triton is a peaceful and helpful merperson, quite unlike his delinquent sons. He has often emerged from his home in the depths of the Mediterranean to assist seafarers in trouble, including the Argonauts. He can cause the roughest sea to subside by blowing on his conch shell trumpet.

His sons have no occupation apart from accompanying their grandfather Poseidon on his rides across the ocean. When the dolphins have been harnessed to Poseidon's chariot, and the nereids are assembled to frolic around them as it charges through the waves, the lecherous crew of tritons acts as outriders. Blowing shrill blasts on conch shells, they rampage over the waters to warn everyone to keep out of the way of the stormy Lord of the Ocean.