Body oval, compressed; 1 pair of nostrils; margin of preopercle serrated; margin of bone under eye serrated, without notch it and the bone before it; mouth small, protrusible; teeth in single row, long and close-set; lower gill rakers 12-13; a single continuous dorsal fin, XII, 15 (rarely 16); anal rays II, 13; pectoral rays 21 (rarely 22); adult males without microscopic papilla on outer half of pectoral fin; no projecting short spines at upper and lower base of tail fin; caudal fin bluntly forked; scales are moderately large and rough; body scaled, head largely scaled (snout scaled to nostrils), as are the basal parts of the median fins; lateral-line scales 20 (rarely 21); lateral line incomplete, ends under end of dorsal fin base.
Dark brown with darker scale outlines; paling to yellow front of head; yellow lips and blue iris; a broad white band on caudal peduncle. Juvenile black; tail with white base and clear fin.
Maximum length to 13 cm.
Habitat: coral reefs.
Abundant in shallow (0-30 m) water. But extends down to 100 m.