soft rays: 10 - 13;
Vertebrae: 56 - 59. This species is usually characterized by darkly pigmented fins and deep body. Body elongate, distinctly laterally compressed, and deep, the greatest body depth in front of the dorsal fin. Head triangular; eye large; snout blunt, its length usually greater than eye diameter; mouth terminal, lower jaw usually projecting beyond upper, sometimes equal to upper jaw, maxillary pigmented , and extending posteriorly to below the anterior edge of the pupil. Overall coloration dark silvery, with pink or purple iridescence on sides, back dark green to black and silvery below. Maxillary and mandible whitish but heavily pigmented. All fish typically black, particularly on outer half.