Body relatively slender (depth < 16% of SL); head relatively short (< 22% of SL); snout short (~ eye diameter); mouth small, jaws ~ equal length, or lower a little longer, top one not protrusible; jaw teeth with 1 point, sometimes with smaller secondary points; sides of roof of mouth with teeth; fins without spines; 9-13 dorsal rays; 9-12 anal rays; pectoral reaches tail fin base, its 1st ray unbranched; pelvic origin nearer operculum than tail fin base, fin long, reaches nearly to end of anal fin base; anal origin under 3rd dorsal ray; tail deeply forked with a longer lower lobe; lateral line low on the body, no branch to origin of pectoral; scales large, smooth, easily shed; ~ 50 scales in front of dorsal fin; juveniles with 2 fused barbels under chin.
Blue-grey above, silvery below; dorsal with a large dark spot; pectorals dark grey with a wide clear border; remaining fins clear.
Size: reaches 48 cm.
Habitat: surface layers inshore and offshore.
Depth: 0-10 m.
Oregon to the tip of Baja California, the SW Gulf of California, also the Revillagigedos Islands.