The body is compressed and disc-like, although it elongates with growth. The snout is pronounced, and the forehead slants at a 45-degree angle from just forward of the dorsal fin. The caudal peduncle consists of two peduncular plates, each featuring a large keel facing forward. The caudal fin is emarginate and sexually dimorphic; the males have filaments that trail from each corner of the fin. There are six spines and 28-31 soft rays in the dorsal fin, two spines and 29-31 soft rays in the anal fin, 17-18 soft rays in the pectoral fin, and one spine and three soft rays in the pelvic fin. The body is dark grayish brown with a yellowish patch on the nape, a yellow margin along either side of the snout from the eye to just behind the mouth, a black snout, and an orange mouth. The peduncular plates and keels are bright orange. The dorsal fin is black with a thin blue margin at the base and a broader blue margin along the outer edge. The caudal fin is also black, with a yellow submarginal band on the edge. The anal fin is yellow at the base, followed by an orange band, a narrow submargin of light blue, and a narrow outer margin of black. The pelvic fin is yellow, and the pectoral fin is a faint black. Grows to about 18 in (46 cm) in length.
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