Dorsal fin with 12 spines and 23-24 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 18-20 rays. Pectoral fin with 15-16 rays. Body depth 1.3-1.6 in standard length. It is coloured ground colour pale grey edged with yellow. Distinctive pattern of black curved lines on body.
This species relies on live coral for food and/or recruitment, and may therefore decline in abundance following climate-induced coral depletion (Pratchett et al. 2008). Currently there has been no documented declines associated with coral loss, and there appear to be no other major threats to this species.