Adult dentex can reach a length of one metre (3 ft), and weight up to 16 kg (35 lb). Body is oval and compressed. Teeth are very developed in each jaw. Dentex have 11 dorsal spines: 11–12 dorsal soft rays; 3 anal spines: 7–9 anal soft rays. Adults are grey-blue, while young dentex have a slightly different livery, brown-blue with blue fins.