The body of the Indian mackerel is moderately deep, and the head is longer than the body depth. The maxilla are partly concealed, covered by the lacrimal bone, but extend till around the hind margin of the eye.
These fish have thin dark longitudinal bands on the upper part of the body, which may be golden on fresh specimens. There is also a black spot on the body near the lower margin of the pectoral fin. Dorsal fins are yellowish with black tips, while the caudal and pectoral fins are yellowish. The remaining fins are dusky.