The spot croaker is a deep-bodied flat fish with an arched back. A large black spot is set above the upper edge of the gill cover. Its body color is gray-blue dorsally, fading to yellow ventrally. It also has a set of 12–15 darker streaks that run forward diagonally from the dorsal surface to about the middle of its body. These streaks often fade with age. The fins are pale yellow in color. The head is blunt with a small mouth. The upper jawbone extends to approximately the middle of the eye. There are no teeth in the lower jaw. The dorsal fin is almost continuous, with a dip separating the stiff dorsal spines from the soft rays. It has 9-11 dorsal spines and 29–35 soft rays. The anal fin has two spines and 12–13 rays. The caudal area is moderately deep, and the caudal fin is notched. A large black spot is set above the upper edge of the gill cover.