Diagnosis: Body somewhat compressed, belly with 6-8 small needle-like pre-pelvic scutes, no post-pelvic scutes; maxilla tip pointed, reaching to or beyond hind border of pre-operculum, the latter concave, indented near maxilla tip; lower gillrakers 24-29; anal fin short, usually with 3 unbranched and 17-20 branched finrays, its origin below about middle of dorsal fin base (Ref. 189, 5430). Of similar species in its distribution area, Stolephorus indicus is round-bodied and has a shorter maxilla, not to hind border of pre-operculum; and Encrasicholina punctifer has the anal fin origin behind the dorsal fin base (Ref. 189).
Description: Body somewhat compressed; depth of body 5.0-5.5 times in total length; head length 23-26% of standard length (Ref. 1881, 5430, 122132). Snout pointed, strongly projecting, shorter than the eye; eye diameter 3 times in head length; teeth present in both jaws, minute; maxillary tapering behind, extending to the gill-opening (Ref. 1881, 5430). Lower gill rakers 24-29; upper gill rakers 17-22 (Ref. 5430, 122132). Dorsal fin with 3 unbranched and 12-14 branched rays, originating a little nearer root of caudal fin than end of snout; anal fin with 3 unbranched and 17-20 branched rays, originating below middle of dorsal fin; pectoral fin with 1 unbranched and 11-13 branched rays; pelvic fin with 1 unbranched and 6 branched rays; caudal fin deeply forked (Ref. 189, 1881, 5430). Caudal peduncle twice as long as deep (Ref. 1881). Scales: 38-42 scales in a longitudinal series, 9 in a transverse series (Ref. 1881, 5430). Pre-pelvic scutes 6-8, no post-pelvic scutes (Ref. 5430).
Colouration: A silvery lateral stripe is present along flanks (Ref. 1881, 5430).