Diagnosis: each side of lower jaw with a recurved canine tooth approximately midway along its length (Ref. 57403). Outer row of teeth on lower jaw ending posteriorly in one or more long, recurved teeth (Ref. 79590). Angle of mouth reaching to below anterior margin of eye; 30-35 ctenoid scales in longitudinal series (including about 2-3 scales on caudal fin base), 9 scales in rearward transverse series; 1st dorsal fin: VI; 2nd dorsal fin: I,9 (infrequently 10); anal fin: I,8-9; pectoral fins: 19; pelvic fins just reaching to anus, relatively broad but with thin membrane between spines; caudal fin with 17 segmented rays (usually 14 of which are branched) (Ref. 57403, 79590).
Coloration: Preserved specimens: very pale (whitish in alcohol); body covered with numerous small, black spots, larger and more close-set on dorsum; lateral part of head with a dark band running in a crescent from above posterior tip of jaw up towards eye, continuing under ventral margin of eye, and extending posteriorly to dorsal edge of operculum; head with dark, median predorsal band; flanks, below lateral line, with several short vertical bars of fine black dots, darkest bars located at level of 2nd dorsal fin; pectoral fin with dark patch near base of upper rays; just posterior to this there is a band of dark pigment running posteroventrally down upper part of fin; lower, anterior part of pectoral fin bears a narrow, longitudinal, band of dark pigment; other parts of fin with fine black speckling; white longitudinal band along middle of each dorsal fin, and a black longitudinal band along middle of anal fin; pelvic fins with black pigment between rays; caudal fin speckled black, with some dark spots aligned in vertical or slightly oblique rows (Ref. 57403, 79590).