Body color is light bluish-gray, with a white underbelly. The head and forward part of the body have numerous horizontal blue and yellow stripes. The mouth is large and is bright red inside. Margin of each scale may be tipped with bronze to create a checkered pattern. Scales above lateral line are larger than the scales below the lateral line. It has 12 dorsal spines and 15 to 17 dorsal rays, 8 to 9 anal rays, and 17 pectoral rays.