|Relative preanal length, body depth, head length and eye diameter (after flexion stage) greater than in Pontinus sp.; notochord flexion and transition to pelagic juvenile occur at smaller size than in Pontinus sp.; pigment pattern somewhat different, especially oblique bar on pectoral fins; head spines larger than in other species; spiny suborbital ridge strongly developed.
Flexion: a few remaining from postanal ventral series present in preflexion stage; embedded shield above gas bladder; on pectoral fins, elongate blotch on upper distal region, blotch on lower proximal region, and blotch on inner surface of base; blotch on first dorsal fin from third dorsal fin spine or 4th dorsal fin spine to 6th dorsal fin spine, 7th, or 8th; beginning of saddles below first dorsal fin; blotch at pelvic fin base.
Postflexion: blotches on pectoral fin blade join to form an oblique bar, wider on upper region of fin; 2 broad saddles at first dorsal fin; saddle at second dorsal fin enlarges ventrad to form broad bar by end of stage; above and lateral to brain; basal region of branchiostegal membrane; on posterior region of opercle.
Pelagic juvenile: first dorsal almost solid with darker region from 6th dorsal fin spine to 10th dorsal fin spine; blotch on 2nd dorsal fin confluent with bar; lateral blotch at caudal peduncle expands to form bar; most of head covered.
Benthic juvenile: scattered laterally on head, except lower cheek region; broad bars under 1st dorsal fin and 2nd dorsal fin, and bar forming on caudal peduncle; on 1st dorsal fin, with black blotch at 7th-10th spines; basally on 2nd dorsal fin.