Elongate, broadly cylindrical bodies; head short, snout short and blunt; mouth small, jaws about equal in length; jaw teeth conspicuous, conical; sides of roof of mouth with teeth; fins without spines; 10-12 dorsal rays; 11-13 anal rays 1st 2 pectoral rays unbranched, fin reaches past anal base; dorsal fin usually with fewer or equal number of rays to anal; anal origin under or just behind dorsal origin; pelvic origin nearer anal origin than pectoral base, fin long, reaching past anal origin; tail deeply forked with a much longer lower lobe; lateral line low on the body, no branch to origin of pectoral; scales large, smooth, easily shed; 27-32 scales before dorsal fin; juveniles without barbels under chin.
Body dark iridescent blue above, silvery below; pectoral black, with narrow clear rear margin; dorsal and tail fins dusky, other fins clear; in juveniles the dorsal fin is clear with a dark outer blotch and the paired fins are black.
Size: 32 cm.
Habitat: oceanic pelagic.
Depth: surface, 0-20 m.
Circumsubtropical, off California to southern Baja, the Gulf of California to Chile; the oceanic islands.