Diagnosis: 11-15 (median 13) pectoral fin rays; head length 8.4-10.8 (mean 9.4) times in SL (Ref. 57226, 81680). Snout tubular, relatively short (Ref. 57226), ratio head length/snouth length 2.0-2.8 (mean 2.5)(Ref. 57226, 81680).
Description: total number of rings 44-50 (Ref. 81680), 12-13 trunk rings and 31-37 tail rings (Ref. 57226, 81680). 5.0-6.5 subdorsal rings; dorsal fin origin from middle of last trunk ring to origin of second tail ring, usually at anterior margin of first tail ring; snout length positively allometric (Ref. 81680). Male brood pouch extending onto 12-17 rings of the tail; caudal fin with 9 rays (Ref. 57226, 81680). Dorsal-fin origin above anal fin, either on last ring of trunk or on first ring of tail (Ref. 57226).
Coloration: colour pattern with a complex pattern of bars and blotches, with, as far as can be judged from preserved specimens, considerable intraspecific variation, but it is unclear which variation is due to sex and/or sexual maturity (Ref. 81680). Belly brown to red-brown, with pale greenish to grey blotches; ventral part of head whitish or light brown; tail and lateral part of body with a pattern of alternating dark and light brown or whitish bars and blotches; this pattern continues onto dorsum in some specimens; in others, dorsum uniformly dark brown; snout sometimes with alternating dark brown/light brown to whitish bar pattern; opercle with fine white-green iridescent lines; dark and light bars radiate from eye; distal part of dorsal fin hyaline and proximal third or more of each dorsal fin ray shaded with brown; proximal third of pectoral fin blotched or shaded with brown, otherwise hyaline; caudal fin with irregular brown blotches, margin usually pale (Ref. 81680). Back and lower sides with irregular diffuse bars occurring every 4 or 5 rings; rectangular brown spot on every ring and on ventral surface of body; light brown irregular spots on sides of trunk and tail; caudal fin marked with irregular spots (Ref. 57226).