P. laevis grows to 125 cm (49 in) in length, but commonly it can reach a length around 80 cm (31 in).These large and long groupers are rather distinctive, but they occur in two color variations. Smaller individuals, females, and young fishes may be pale white with four black markings and yellow fins. Full-grown individuals are usually brown with three or four dark markings and small blue spots with dark edges on the head, body, and fins. Juvenile barred patterns may be retained in a some large fishes.They have seven or eight dorsal spines, 10-12 dorsal soft rays, three anal spines, and eight anal soft rays.
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