Body robust; compressed at rear; mouth reaching to under rear edge of eye, lower jaw projecting; lips thick; teeth minute, in bands on jaws and a patch that conspicuously narrows in its middle on roof of mouth, jaw teeth with toothless groove separating inner and outer teeth; with large pectoral fins; dorsal fin origin well behind pectoral fin; dorsal and anal fins continuous with tail fin; lateral line complete but pores very small; small imbedded scales arranged in basket-weave pattern present in adults but not juveniles; 100-110 vertebrae.
Yellowish to olive or brown, mottled with dark greenish brown, lighter below; all fins dark.
Reaches 2 m.
0-2 m depth.
Widely distributed in the Indo-central Pacific; recently found in the Galapagos, where it evidently is a vagrant. Adults in fresh to brackish water, migrate long distances to spawning grounds in deep gyres in the open ocean; larvae marine.