soft rays: 15 - 17;
Vertebrae: 24. Body, excluding cheeks, with small, well-defined cream spots on dark background, concentrated in the anterodorsal field; spotting relatively sparse, usually lacking on median fins. Body and head, excluding lips with embedded scales; posterior limb of maxillary scaled. Dorsal spines 2 (rarely 3). Lower jaw only slightly projecting, sometimes with fleshy protuberance. In > 6.5 cm SL specimens, there are numerous, small pores in patches along the ventral surface of lower jaw; those along margin of preopercle confined to patches (Ref. 40934).