Fish with a basic, 'fish-like' shape, with a sloping head with a relatively large mouth, a tapering body and a notched tail (H. parra). Body silvery to pearly gray. Distinct scale pattern accentuated by black spots that forms lines over the body. Pectoral fin may be light, other fins dusky to dark.
Size up to 41 cm.
Inhabit shallow coastal reefs, the younger on seagrass beds, adults in school in relatively open areas, down to 30 m. Rare at oceanic islands. Feeds at night on mollusks and small fishes.
Common to occasional Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.