Diagnosis: body elongate, moderately compressed, its depth 28.4-36.8% of standard length; head length 27.8-34.5% of standard length; 4-5 rows of monocuspid teeth in jaws; dorsal fin usually with spots or bands, dark posteriorly; lower part of body often reddish in life (Ref. 53405). Black mid-lateral band extends over caudal fin; base of dorsal fin heavily pigmented dark grey or black (Ref. 81260).
Description: moderately gracile (body depth 29.3-38.3%, mean 34.3% SL); head length 27.8-33.0% SL; dorsal head profile smoothly rounded to snout; snout short, 21.7-36.6% HL, rounded; ventral body wall gently rounded to caudal peduncle which is usually deeper than long; distance from snout to pelvic origin 33.4-40.9%, mean 37.2% SL (Ref. 81260). Pharyngeal jaw teeth bicuspid; no micro-gillrakers; scales cycloid (Ref. 53405). 8-12 tuberculate rakers on hypobranchial and ceratobranchial of first gill arch, 3-6 short epibranchial rakers; caudal fin rounded in both sexes, sometimes upper half elongate and lobe-like in males; males usually 15-25% larger than females, with soft dorsal and anal rays more elongated (Ref. 81260). Caudal fin always rounded in females, in males it can be rounded, rhomboid or sometimes with a slightly elongated upper lobe (Ref. 52307).
Coloration: live: males: dark olivaceous-green above, with dark, grey longitudinal band running from eye to posterior part of dorsal-fin base; another dark grey horizontal band extends from snout to hind margin of caudal fin; lower part of body light olivaceous-green, belly pinkish; 2 narrow, dark grey cross bars on upper part of head and another at level of lower lip; opercular region olive-green, with golden reflections and metallic, copper-red to black spot, edged with bright green ventrally; dorsal fin hyaline except for black area behind dark red distal margin, with light blue submarginal band; pectoral fins hyaline except for some traces of olive-green at base and light violet near hind margin; pelvic fins violet, with black anterior margin and bright blue submarginal band; anal fin violet and black-edged; caudal fin violet above horizontal band and olive-green or orange below; upper caudal margin dark red, with dark orange submarginal band; sometimes 1 (rarely more) round, black, orange-edged spot on upper part of caudal fin (Ref. 53405). Cheeks and opercle variably colored: with yellow, red or blue flush; chest and belly red or yellow (rarely blue) (Ref. 81260). Females: horizontal bands on body darker grey than in males; dorsal fin lacking red and blue margins which are replaced by narrow black band; posterior black area subdivided into several irregular black zones or occasionally substituted by 1-2 round, black spots; pectoral fins hyaline; pelvic fins light pink rather than violet, and with blue and black margins; caudal fin lacking orange-red margin which is replaced by golden spots; upper part of caudal fin sometimes with 1 (or several) round, black spots bordered by golden area (Ref. 53405). Cheeks usually yellow, opercle yellow or blue; chest and belly red or violet (Ref. 81260).