African spadefish have flattened bodies, with small mouths and large foreheads. Their bodies are silver-grey, with a series of dark, vertical bands that fade with age. Sometimes faded yellow colouration is present on their caudal and dorsal fins and their bellies.
Spadefish feed on both free-swimming and bottom-dwelling crustaceans.
African spadefish inhabit inshore reefs on the African east coast, from Somalia to South Africa's Eastern Cape.