The black jewfish is a large long-bodied fish. They are black to bronze colour on top with silvery sides and a yellow underbelly. They have dark pectoral, pelvic and anal fins. As a juvenile they have many black spots on the upper half of the body as well as the caudal fin. They derive the name black jewfish partly because are they are darker than their southern cousins the mulloway (Argyrosomus hololepidotus) but more so because they go a darker, blacker shade when they are dead.