Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 9-10 spines and 17-20 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 7 rays. Pectoral fin with 16-17 rays. Second dorsal spine much longer than the first. 20 to 25 scales between lateral line and dorsal fin origin. Scales small and ctenoid. Mouth small, lips thick.
Colour: Adults light grey with scattered large blackish blotches on sides, white on belly. Juveniles with conspicuous alternating black and white stripes, and yellowish on head and belly. Stripes eventually break up into spots that disappear in adults.
Habitat and Biology: Found on shallow coastal areas and coral reefs down to a depth of 80 m. Most common in silty areas. Feeds on bottom invertebrates and fish.
Distribution: Indo-West Pacific.
Remarks: Diagramma pictum can easily be distinguished from other sweetlips by its short, first dorsal spine
and second (with the third) abruptly the longest.