Body deep, compressed, back high; head short, blunt; mouth small, low, ~ horizontal, lips fleshy; inside mouth not red; teeth in bands on jaws, outer ones larger, conical, none on center roof of mouth; a pair of conspicuous pores plus a central groove under the chin; preopercle finely serrated; dorsal continuous but deeply notched, 4th spine longest, XII-XIII, 16-17; anal III, 8-9, 2nd spine long and thick; pectoral fins relatively long reaching anal origin; tail forked; scales moderate to large, rough, over entire body and head except front of snout, lips and chin, on membranes between dorsal and anal soft rays; lines of scales above lateral line in oblique rows, front scales notably bigger; lateral-line scales 46-50; 7 scale rows between lateral line and dorsal fin origin.
Overall silvery, sometimes with yellowish sheen; scale centre blackish, imparting a spotted pattern on sides; fins yellowish to greenish brown.
Maximum length, 90 cm.
Habitat: common on inshore rocky reefs.
Depth: 3-30 m.
Central Baja and the Gulf of California to Peru, including all the oceanic islands except Clipperton.