Dorsal spines (total): 14-17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-12; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 6-8. Diagnosis: high number of branchiospines on first outer branchial arch (23-31); first dorsal fin spine length 70-80% of the length of the 5th spine (Ref. 59155, 52307, 81260). When stressed with 2 continuous dark bands on body (Ref. 81260).
Description: compressed, deep-bodied (body depth 36.5-41.1%, mean 38.6% SL); snout prominent, pointed (snout length 33.7-47.4%, mean 42.3% HL); lachrymal deep (26.5-33.0%, mean 30.6% HL); predorsal profile steep, straight to dorsal fin origin (Ref. 81260). Infraorbital bones series complete with lachrymal and 4 other bones; lachrymal with 5 openings of laterosensory system; premaxilla with 2-3, dentary with 2 rows of unicuspid teeth; anteriorly in the lower jaws some teeth oriented posteriorly, not bucally; 2-4 rows of scales on cheek; lower pharyngeal bone triangular, with teeth shouldered unicuspid (lateral parts of the bone) or asymmetrical bicuspid (central field); well developed hanging pad on roof of pharynx (Ref. 59155). Caudal peduncle usually deeper than long or as deep as long (Ref. 81260). 13-16 (median 14) markedly tuberculate hypobranchial and ceratobranchial rakers, 8-15 (median 12) lanceolate epibranchial rakers (Ref. 59155, 81260). Adults of both sexes with some dorsal and anal fin rays elongated, caudal truncate to subtruncate; sexual dimorphism muted, males slightly larger than females with dorsal and anal rays a little more elongated (Ref. 81260). Chest scales smaller than flank scales, which are large (Ref. 59155, 81260). Scales cycloid; 3-4 horizontal scale rows on operculum; upper part of lateral line with 17-21 scales, lower with 7-12; end of upper lateral line sometimes overlapping lower lateral line by up to 1 or 2 scale rows; about 1/3 of caudal fin basally covered with scales, other fins unscaled (Ref. 59155). 2.5-3 scales between 8th pored scale of upper lateral line and dorsal fin base (Ref. 59155, 81260), 1-2 between last pored scale and dorsal fin base (Ref. 59155). 13-14 abdominal and 12 caudal vertebrae; tips of pelvic fin in most specimens not reaching anal fin; caudal fin truncate to subtruncate (Ref. 59155).
Coloration: body grey or light brown, paler ventrally (Ref. 52307, 59155, 81260). Body scales in males with narrow dark margins; cheek, opercle and chest pale grey (Ref. 59155, 81260). Soft dorsal, anal and caudal fin membranes in males with some small dark maculae; spinous dorsal in ripe females silvery blue (Ref. 52307, 59155, 81260). Dorsal fin and upper part of caudal with reddish margin in both sexes, usually more marked in males; sometimes 4-5 dark vertical bars on the body, occasionally 2 horizontal bands (in juveniles); juveniles with a strongly marked black spot covering the first 2-3 spines and dorsal fin membrane (Ref. 59155, 81260).
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