The Barred Pargo has a deep moderately compressed body and has the widest body of the snappers being 44-46% of body length. Overall they are reddish brown in color with an all brown head with a white chin and six alternating wide and narrow white bars running down the sides. These bars are quite pronounced upon collection but fade quickly over time. The anal fin has a strong second spine, the dorsal fin has ten spines and is continuous, and the pectoral fins are long extending well past the anal fin origin. Juveniles have closely paired bars on the side and a black spot at the base of the dorsal rays.
The Barred Pargo, Hoplopagrus guentherii, who is also known as the Mexican Barred Pargo, whose common Spanish name is Pargo Coconaco and locally as Coconaco, is a member of the Snapper or Lutianidae Family, known collectively as “pargos” in Mexico.