Can grow to 70 cm, but is usually 20 to 30 cm. The fish is red above, orange or yellow below, very slender, with minute cycloid scales. The dorsal and anal fins are long, the pectoral and pelvic fins short, with the pelvics inserted in front of the pectorals.
The tail has extended rays. Head rounded, with large eyes, and a large mouth equipped with slender and sharp teeth. Feeds on small crustaceans. Lurks in vertical burrows much of the time, but makes excursions up to midwater in search of food.