A small-mouthed sunfish with the upper jaw not reaching past the front of the eye. Spinous dorsal with 10 spines, broadly connected to soft dorsal, which often has a black blotch near the bases of its last rays. Long, pointed pectoral fins reach well past the front of the eye when bent forward across the eye. Black ear flap is moderately prolonged. Back and sides dark olive-green with emerald and brassy shine; breast and belly yellow or reddish orange. Chin and lower part of gill cover blue.