Diagnosis: White background with 8 distinct vertical bars on head and body; yellow spots on the medial fins; a well-defined dark bar across the postorbital region of the skull (may be partially obscured by the overlying anterior extension of the epaxialis body musculature in larger specimens). No scales on head. Opercle, cheek, or nape. A second dorsal spine varying from slightly to very elongate (as far as the mid-peduncle). A well-developed interorbital trench. A variably-developed postorbital trench (usually developed). A fifth pelvic fin ray which is unbranched and 50-85% of the fourth.
Description: Dorsal fins’ second spine usually elongate in males, reaching to caudal peduncle, while in females length of second spine is variable, all rays branched except occasionally in first and last. Pectoral fin with 4-11 branched rays at approximate center of the fin, reaching posteriorly to a vertical line with first few elements of anal fin. Pelvic fin no frenum, basal membrane no more than 10% the length of the fifth pelvic fin ray, often vestigial; the first four rays with one sequential branch, (twice individual fin rays branched sequentially two times), fifth ray unbranched and 50-55-85% the length of fourth, fourth ray reaching posteriorly to a vertical line with first few elements of anal fin. Anterior transverse scales 6-7 (mean = 6.6, n = 33), posterior transverse scales 5-6-7, (mean = 5.8, n = 33; 7 twice); predorsal no scales. Scales on breast cycloid, 3-4 rows of cycloid scales on pectoral base; cheek and opercle scaleless. Gill opening extending anteroventrally to below posterior margin of pupil to mid-pupil. Lower jaw with a short outer row of enlarged, curved, spaced canines near the symphysis, and an inner row of somewhat smaller spaced canines, and one or two irregular rows of small conical teeth in between; teeth of upper jaw similar, but no inner row of canines. Tongue margin round, truncate or parenthesis shaped. Gill rakers on first arch 2-4-5 + 11-15-18 = 14-21, (mean = 17.8, n = 25). Anterior nasal opening a tube; posterior nasal opening either a pore or a pore with a raised rim not adnate to eye. Bony interorbital 1/3 pupil width, a well-developed interorbital trench, and a postorbital trench that is usually wail-developed or occasionally slightly developed (Ref. 52975).