The trumpetfish is slender and elongate. The head is about one-third of the total length; the snout is tubular and the mouth large, terminal, and very upturned. The chin has a prominent barbel, and the eyes are relatively small and round. Single dorsal fin is preceded by eight to 13 short, well-spaced spines. Dorsal fin with 21-25 rays; anal fin opposite to dorsal fin and also with 21-25 rays; pelvic fins very posterior. Scales small and somewhat abrasive. Reaches at least 35.4 in (90 cm) in length. Coloration varies. May have dusky brown or reddish background with lighter stripes and darker spots, but some individuals are yellow or green with a blue snout.
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