Attains a total length (including the tail fin) of about 6 in (15 cm). The head and body are deep, greatly compressed, and shaped like a disk or diamond; the body depth is more than twice the head length. The dorsal head profile and the predorsal region are concave, and there is a bulge on the nape. The body, cheeks, and operculum are covered with small ctenoid scales. The mouth is small, and the upper jaw is shorter than the eye diameter. The dorsal fin has nine spines and 27-30 soft rays; the anal fin has three spines and 24-28 rays. The tail fin has 10 branched rays. The body is pale reddish silvery, with a dark red bar from the dorsal fin origin to the origin of the anal fin; another red bar lies above and below the eye, and there is a red band on the body at the rear of dorsal and anal fin bases. The abdomen and lower rear part of the head are silvery white.
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