Characterized by the presence of small black spots on the back and on the upper lobe of the caudal fin, and by the lack of dark pigment along the gum line of the lower jaw (Ref. 27547). The gill rakers are rough and widely spaced; the lateral line is nearly straight (Ref. 27547). The adipose fin is slender; the pelvic fins have an axillary extension (Ref. 27547). Fish in the sea are dark metallic blue or greenish on the back and upper sides, a brilliant silver color on middle and lower sides, and white below; small black spots are present on the back and upper sides and on the upper lobe of the caudal fin (Ref. 27547). During the spawning season fish turn dark to bright green on head and back, bright red on the sides, and often dark on the belly (Ref. 27547). Females are less brightly colored than males (Ref. 27547).