soft rays: 12. The primary phase of P. atavai closely resembles juvenile Thalassoma amblycephalum; the terminal phase is orange-yellow anteriorly with dull violet squiggly lines on the head and reddish horizontal and vertical lines on the body, becoming abruptly bluish-black posteriorly (Ref. 1602). Caudal fin not very short (length 1.3 to 1.5 times in head length). First dorsal-fin ray longest. Snout 2.7 to 2.9 times in head length (Ref 9823).