Blue-grey above and silvery-white below with a dark head that extends towards the dorsal fin. Silver Warehou have a dark blotch above the pectoral fin and blackish spots on the mid belly. They differ from other Warehou species with their slender shape and pitted skin.
Silver Warehou are members of the Centrolophidae family (raftfishes, medusafishes). They live off the shelf edge and the upper slope at 200 to 500 metres. The major concentrations are found off both coasts of the South Island (extending south to the Auckland Islands) and on the Chatham Rise.
They school to feed and spawn, which takes place from September to October. Their major spawning area is on the western Chatham Rise, but some juveniles are found as far north as the Hauraki Gulf. Silver Warehou are also found off southern Australia and South America.
Silver Warehou are caught throughout the year by trawlers.
White Warehou (S.caerelea) is a closely related species that is uniformly grey-white with no obvious scales or pits and no pectoral blotches. This species is found in deeper water than the Silver Warehou. It is common off southeast New Zealand and on the Campbell Plateau.