Physical Characteristics

Body is deep and highly compressed. The dorsal fin is continuous, and the anal, dorsal, and pelvic fins are greatly elevated. Scales are ctenoid and small. The mouth is terminal, with tri-cuspid teeth. Juveniles also have deep bodies and elevated anal, dorsal, and pelvic fins (the latter extremely long), with the dorsal and anal fins extending backward beyond the caudal fin. These fins are reduced in size somewhat with age (i.e. the fins do not grow with age relative to the rest of the body). Larvae have a deep or moderately deep body and a relatively compressed caudal fin; the head and trunk are combined into a broad, ball-like structure that eventually deepens with growth. There are no scales present on the body of the larvae at settlement. Settlement refers to the transformation of a pelagic-dwelling larva to a Reef-dwelling post-larva or juvenile. Grows to more than 17.7 in (45 cm) in length.

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