Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 12 spines and 14-15 rays. Anal fin with 2 spines and 15-16 rays. Pectoral rays 21-22. Body depth 2.8-3.1 in standard length. Body elongate. Hind margin of preopercle finely serrated. Caudal fin deeply forked, lobes produced to be somewhat filamentous.
Colour: Olive to purplish on back becoming paler below. Dorsal and anal fins purplish brown with orange coloured oblique stripes. Last three dorsal rays orange coloured. Pectoral and pelvic fins pink.
Habitat and Biology: Usually inhabits the upper edge of outer reef slopes at depths up to 30 m, but occasionally collected on lagoon reefs. Most common in areas of rich coral growth. Usually found with aggregations of Nemanthias carberryi. Feeds on zooplankton well above the bottom.
Remarks: Lepidozygus tapeinosoma is used as bait in pole and line tuna fishery. Its use is seasonal, depending to some extent on the availability of other, more easily collected, species. Near Male�?, it is most often used during the northeast monsoon season and the preceding intermonsoon.