Body only slightly compressed laterally; bill rounded in cross section; adults with small teeth; nape strongly elevated; first dorsal fin rays 40-45, front rays elevated into triangular peak, remainder of fin very low; height of anterior lobe < than greatest body depth; second dorsal fin rays 6-7; pectorals long and narrow, moveable and can be pressed against body, 20-23 rays; pelvic fins filamentous, distinctly shorter than pectoral fins; tail base with two keels; anus close to origin of anal fin; lateral line a single line, often obscured in adults; body covered with small, triangular scales.
Blue black dorsally and silvery white ventrally with about 15 cobalt-colored vertical rows of round spots or narrow bars; first dorsal fin blackish or dark blue; other fins blackish brown, sometimes tinged with dark blue.
Size: attains 500 cm; all-tackle world record 498 Kg.
Habitat: pelagic, oceanic.
Depth: 0-200 m.
Circumtropical in tropical and temperate seas; California to the SW and central eastern Gulf of California to Peru and the oceanic islands.