The species has a wide mouth and small, fine teeth. It feeds mainly on small fish and shrimp found on the bottom of coastal areas, river mouths, coves and brackish waters.
The base of the front part of its gill cover is covered with strong spikes. Its caudal, dorsal and anal fins have rounded ends. Kakap can reach up to 2 m but normally range between 25 – 100 m. It is an expensive fish, especially when it is fresh.
The species is mostly found on the northern coasts of Java, the eastern coasts of Sumatra, around Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Tiworo Canal and the Arafuru Sea. The fish is caught using a rod and live bait because it is an aggressive predator.