Elongate, strongly compressed; eye relatively large, 2.6-3.2 in head length; mouth moderate in size, inside not red, lips thin; chin with 2 pores at front and 2 inside hole behind, plus a longitudinal groove; preopercle weakly or not serrated, ventral serrations not forward pointing; dorsal fin XIII, 11-12, moderately notched; anal III, 7, second anal spine very long and stout, its length about two times eye diameter or more; pectoral fins relatively long, passing tips of depressed pelvic fins; no scales on soft dorsal and anal fins; 47-51 pored lateral line scales; 5 oblique rows of scales between lateral line and origin of dorsal fin.
Silvery with yellowish-brown opercular membrane and yellow iris; juveniles with ~ five indistinct dusky bars from nape along back to tail base.
Size: grows to at least 30 cm.
Inhabits muddy bays and estuaries, also enters river mouths.
Depth: 0-55 m.
Southern Baja and the lower 2/3 Gulf of California to Peru.