Body somewhat rectangular and strongly compressed; head moderately deep with rounded nape and steep, slightly concave forehead-snout profile; lower gill rakers (excluding rudiments) 30-34; dorsal rays VIII+I, 20-24, spines of dorsal fin short, with at least last one isolated; anal rays II+I, 16-19; dorsal and anal fin spines become embedded with age; dorsal and anal fin lobes relatively short; front spines of dorsal fin elongate in juveniles; no isolated finlets after 2nd dorsal and anal fins; pectoral long, curved; straight part of lateral line with poorly developed, small scutes (hard spiny scales); scales very small, imbedded in skin, body appears scaleless.
Overall silvery; pectoral and caudal fins yellowish; juvenile with a black spot on the flank.
Maximum size to 85 cm.
Habitat: demersal on sandy bottoms.
Depth: 1-50 m.
Southern California to the Gulf of California to Chile and (rarely) the Galapagos.