Slender bodied, with long extensions at all unpaired fins. The colour patterning is variable in different populations. Dorsal fin rays 9-11, anal fin 14-16 rays, D/A=1/6-7. Scales in longitudinal series, 29-32.
Maximum size: 50 mm TL.
Coloration: males, dark red-brown with green iridescence anteriorly on the flanks. Three oblique dark red bars on opercle. Irregularly distributed red spots on the flanks (a population from Cap Esterias has these red spots more as discontinuous horizontal lines, and a population from Mayumba (Congo) has an irregular, vertical barring). Dorsal fin red-brown with red spots and a dark red band followed by a light orange margin. Light orange margin grades into white in a long fin extension. Anal fin yellow basally, grading into red-brown with a dark red submarginal band and narrow white margin ending in a white streamer. Caudal fin red-brown centrally, with some dark red spots in the upper and lower parts followed by a dark red band and orange margins, extending from the fin as long white extensions. Eye with a green iris. Females, light red-brown. Scales on dorsum usually with dark grey edges. Irregularly distributed red spots on flanks. All fins are colourless, with small red-brown spots on the unpaired fins. Older females often show a vague pattern in the unpaired fins similar to that of males, including white extensions, although these extensions are never as long as in males. As in males the iris is green.
(Source: J. R. Van Der Zee, T. Woeltjes, & R. H. Wildekamp 2008 in Stiassny, Teugels & Hopkins 2008.)