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The scales on the body are black and rimmed with a bright golden yellow. There is a broad orange-yellow bar at the base of the pectoral fins and a yellow filament in the dorsal. The chin appears whitish. Eyes are narrowly edged in blue with a yellow outer portion of the iris. All fins are black. Juveniles differ greatly from the adult coloration. The juveniles are distinguished from the adults with a dark brown to black body with three thick vertical yellow bands that continue onto the fins. As the juvenile matures, the scales resemble those of the adult - black with yellow edges - throughout the body except those near the front of the fish which remain black. It also loses the vertical yellow bands except for the yellow-orange bar at the outer base of the pectoral fin. The dorsal filament turns yellow.
Shallow water near dock.