The dorsal fin on this species contains 10 to 11 spines and 10 to 12 rays. The anal fin has three spines and nine or 10 rays. Lateral line scales number 41 to 52. Palatine teeth are present in the roof of the mouth. The cheek has six to eight rows of scales. The pectoral fin is short and does not reach the nostril when bent forward beside the head. Breeding males have a bright orangish red breast and venter. Membranes of the dorsal and anal fins have elongate, bright orange blotches. Margins of the soft dorsal and anal fins and much of the pelvic and pectoral fins are yellow. The back and head are olive green. Bright, bluish green stripes originate near the mouth and extend backward obliquely toward the base of the elongate, black ear flap. Females are less colorful, having a light orange to yellowish breast and venter. Adult size: 6 to 8 inches.