Body moderately 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, 14-17; anal III, 12-13, 2nd spine long and thick; anterior rays of dorsal and anal fin much taller than posterior rays, giving these fins a somewhat triangular outline; pectoral fins short, not reaching anal origin; tail straight to slightly concave; 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 above lateral line.
Dark charcoal grey to brownish on upper half, white below; a silvery-white streak along lateral line (rapidly fades after death).
Size: grows to 40 cm.
Habitat: forms large schools on rocky reefs.
Depth: 5-30 m.
Galapagos Islands, Malpelo, Cocos, northern Peru to Chile.