Elongate, strongly compressed; snout shorter than rest of head; no fatty eyelid; rear of top jawbone exposed; teeth strong, compressed, triangular or knife-like; 21-27 gill rakers; 1st dorsal fin with XV-XVIII spines; 2 dorsals very close together; 6-9 finlets after 2nd dorsal and 6-8 after anal fin; 2 small keels separated by third larger keel on tail base; corselet of scales obscure.
Male: back metallic blue; flank and belly silver; without bars, stripes or spots. Female: darker, with 2 series of alternating gold spots on flank.
Size: 87 cm.
Habitat: coastal surface pelagic.
Depth: upper 15 m.
With two well separated populations, one of California as far south as the US/Mexican border and the other in the upper two thirds of the Gulf of California. Due to overfishing the California population is extinct and the Gulf of California population is restricted to a small area in the upper Gulf.