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The orange roughy is not a vertically slender fish. Its rounded head is riddled with muciferous canals (part of the lateral line system), as is typical of slimeheads. The single dorsal fin contains four to six spines and 15 to 19 soft rays the anal fin contains three spines and 10 to 12 soft rays. The 19 to 25 ventral scutes (modified scales) form a hard, bony median ridge between the pelvic fins and anus. The pectoral fins contain 15–18 soft rays each the pelvic fins are thoracic and contain one spine and six soft rays the caudal fin is forked. The interior of the mouth and gill cavity is a bluish black the mouth itself is large and strongly oblique. The scales are ctenoid and adherent. The lateral line is uninterrupted, with 28 to 32 scales whose spinules or 'ctenii' largely obscure the lateral line's pores. The eyes are large. The orange roughy is the largest known slimehead species at a maximum standard length (a measurement which excludes the tail fin) of 75 cm (30 in) and a maximum weight of 7 kg (15 lb). The average commercial catch size is commonly between 35 and 45 centimetres (14 and 18 in) in length, again, varying by area.
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