(total): 20 - 23;
soft rays: 24 - 27. Males uniform grey to black with red fins and a bluish white margin to the anal fin during the breeding season. Females mottled greenish grey with an indistinct broken dark band along the base of the dorsal fins. Distinguished from other triplefins by the flattened pointed head and snout, the short, square caudal peduncle, and by having three spines in the first dorsal fin and 14-16 spines in the second.