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Unique Characters: Body deep and grayish to brownish. Snout rounded with nostrils near the tip. Median fin spines 5-8, strong, easily distinguished. Body firm. Dorsal-fin soft rays less than 35; continuous, originates over or slightly behind pectoral-fin base and has 8 or 9 low spines. Anal-fin soft rays less than 27. Gill rakers on lower limb of first arch more than 15.
Similar Species: Brown Ruff Schedophilus medusophagus. Body dark brown. Small head pointed snout. Edge of preopercle spiny. Median fin spines weak, very difficult to distinguish from rays. Body soft and limp. Dorsal-fin spines plus soft rays 44-50; continuous, originates anterior to pectoral-fin base and has a few weak spines. Anal-fin spines plus soft rays 28-31. Gill rakers on lower limb of first arch less than 13.