Physical Characteristics

Males grow to 2.4 in (6 cm) in length and females to 2.8-3 in (7-8 cm). Sexually dimorphic and dichromatic. All fins are rounded. The dorsal fin of males is larger than that of females and is set over the anal fin, far back on the portion of the body that tapers to the caudal peduncle. The body is block-shaped, with a humpbacked appearance in mature fish. The depth of the caudle peduncle is much smaller than the body depth. The head is small and pointed. The basic background color of the body is brownish gray to beige; the degree of dark pigmentation is quite variable. Males are bright orange to red at the base of the caudal peduncle, with iridescent blue highlights on the forward part of peduncle between the anal and dorsal fins. The middle portion of the body has gold highlights, and the abdomen is reddish to yellowish near the operculum. The dorsal fin is sometimes black, the caudal fin is orange to yellow, and the anal fin is orange. Color patterns and intensities vary greatly by location, with colors in alpha males very pronounced. Females have a grayish beige body color, sometimes with silvery highlights; all fins are slightly yellow.

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