soft rays: 9 - 11;
Vertebrae: 25. Juveniles with 3 broad black stripes from head to caudal fin where the stripes merge; with growth, lower stripe disappears, upper stripe is less distinct; black caudal fin becomes entirely yellow in adults. Head scales small. Lips thick and fleshy, forming a short tube when mouth is closed. Caudal fin rounded to truncate; pelvic fins rounded.