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Orange roughy are also synchronous, shedding sperm and eggs at the same time.The time between fertilization and hatching is thought to be 10 to 20 days; fecundity is low, with each female producing only 22,000 eggs per kg of body weight, less than 10% of the average for other species of fish.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 lateral line is uninterrupted, with 28 to 32 scales whose spinules or 'ctenii' largely obscure the lateral line's pores. 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 aggregations are not necessarily for spawning or feeding; the fish are thought to cycle through metabolic phases (active or feeding and inactive or resting) and seek areas with ideal hydrologic conditions to congregate during each phase.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 UK Marine Conservation Society has categorized orange roughy as "vulnerable to exploitation".It is found in 3 to 9 °C (37 to 48 °F), deep (bathypelagic, 180-to-1,800-metre (590 to 5,910 ft)) waters of the Western Pacific Ocean, eastern Atlantic Ocean (from Iceland to Morocco; and from Walvis Bay, Namibia, to off Durban, South Africa), Indo-Pacific (off New Zealand and Australia), and in the eastern Pacific off Chile.