Attains a length of up to 7.5 in (19.2 cm) (length/depth ratio, 5:1). It has a large, depressed head with a conspicuous barbel on the chin; this barbel is one of the characteristic features of the family. The first dorsal fin is tall and narrow, consisting of only three flexible spines, and is directly above the operculum. The second dorsal fin is disproportionately tall and sail-like. The second dorsal, caudal, pectoral, and pelvic fins have brown and yellow striations. The body color is a light tan, with irregular dark blotches. Scales are absent, except for parts of the two lateral lines on the trunk.
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