Diagnosis: 40-54 (usually 45-49) scales in longitudinal series on flanks (Ref. 57413, 81660), and 2-4 scales on caudal fin base (Ref. 57413). 11-18 (usually 13-514) scales in rearward transverse series (Ref. 57413, 81660). Body pigmentation usually pale/rusty brown, with rows of dark spots in longitudinal series dorsal to lateral midline (Ref. 57413). Prominent dark spot on dorsal part of pectoral fin base (Ref. 57413, 81660), if specimen is very dark spot may not be highly contrasted but is still distinct (Ref. 81660). Sensory papillae on upper rear field of opercle form a single arching row (Ref. 81660).
Description: 22-42 (usually 33-38) predorsal scales; cheek naked or with a few small cycloid scales present on upper rear corner behind eye; opercle with small embedded cycloid scales (Ref. 57413, 81660). Total longitudinal scale count usually 48-52; 1st dorsal fin: VI (rarely V); second dorsal and anal fins: I,8 (rarely 7); pectoral fins: 15-18 (usually 16 or 17); caudal fin rounded with 13-15 segmented rays, usually 13 of which are branched; upper, oblique, opercular neuromast row os curving down to meet posterior end of row oi; single vertical opercular ot row; 3rd and 4th vertical, suborbital c rows usually extending ventrally below horizontal row d; vertical suborbital neuromast rows not proliferated (see Miller, 1998: fig. 7)(Ref. 57413).
Coloration: similar to Eleotris vittata; body color usually a pale chocolate or rusty brown (Ref. 57413, 81660), but may be dark brown (Ref. 81660). Brown streaks on head radiating from eye, one along groove above opercle reaching to spot on pectoral fin base, one projecting forward to tip of snout, two suborbital and one across cheek to preopercle (Ref. 81660). Longitudinal series of dark spots on flanks above midline; spots not expanded to form continuous band as in E. vittata; prominent dark spot on dorsal part of pectoral fin base (Ref. 57413, 81660). Dorsum variably lighter or darker than flanks, but abdomen generally lighter; 1st dorsal fin with two dark horizontal bands separated by translucent band (Ref. 81660). 2nd dorsal fin with 2-5 longitudinal dark bands (Ref. 57413) or rows of spots (Ref. 81660). Anal fin with rows of spots, vertical bands of spots in caudal fin (Ref. 81660).