Body coloration is usually blue-green, dark green, yellow-brown, brown or nearly black, and whatever the fundamental colour might be it can vary considerably with the temper or mood of the fish. A dark vertical stripe marks the rear of the body from the dorsal fin down into the base of the anal fin. A paler dark bar crosses the tail root. The head and gill covers are lightly marked with irregular dark markings, and also the body of the male is covered by lateral rows of reddish dots, darker on the upper body. The fins are red-brown or orange.
Aquarium specimens will grow to about 7 inches. They’re hardy, and not so aggressive as most of the big members of the family. They’re not effortlessly bred, but breed according to the standard description. As only the males have the rows of reddish dots, sexing won’t prove any issue.