Standard length 17 in (43 cm); maximum weight 7.7 lb (3.5 kg). Base color is dark gray, silvery gray, or olive-brown, and may be mottled; the belly is often pale or light gray, and the scale margins are dark gray. Body is compressed and elongate, the dorsal profile of the head concave, the nape arched, the body deep, the eyes and jaws both large; large mucous cavities are found around the eyes and also on the preoperculum. The dorsal fin has 8-10 spines and 11-14 soft rays; the anal fin has three spines and 8-11 soft rays; there are 14-17 pectoral fin soft rays.
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