soft rays: 17 - 18;
Vertebrae: 29 - 30. This species is distinguished by the following characters: Dorsal-fin rays V, 21; anal-fin rays I, 17-18 (often I, 17); pectoral-fin rays 16-18 (often 17); lateral-line scales 51-55; gill rakers 3-5+10-11; predorsal scales 8-9; cycloid scales on cheek, in about 11 horizontal rows; usually 8 canine teeth in outer row at front of lower jaw; vomer with a crescentic row of 6-10 robust conical teeth; palatines edentate; angle of subopercle produced, with about 7 small spinules; 9-10
abdominal and 20 caudal vertebrae; coloration includes 6 broad red saddles across the back, a purplish red to violet line from the anterior edge of each orbit around the snout, a series of yellow-edged red spots on the postorbital part of the head and nape, and a row of dark-red spots along soft dorsal fin (Ref. 59349).