soft rays: 9. Males distinct and head looks bright yellow underwater; females drab with white teeth and some pale spots (Ref. 48636). Scales large. 4 median predorsal scales; a transverse pair of smaller scales which overlap medially in mid-dorsal line located directly anterior to 1st median scale; 3 scale rows on cheek, lower row with 1-2 (usually 2) scales. Caudal fin slightly rounded to truncate in initial phase; moderately to deeply emarginate in terminal phase. Adults in initial phase without canines on upper plate, 1 on lower; terminal-phase fish with 1-2 canines on upper and lower plates. Lips largely or entirely cover dental plates.