L397 is noted for its bold orange and black bands on the body and fins. On the body and fins of juveniles, and on the fins of adults, the orange and black bands are separated by transparent or white bands.
In adults, the orange bands on the body may remain orange-red, or mellow to a shade of brown, but the fins retain an orange-red hue. Another character of L397 is the facial markings: Early in life, the face develops densely packed thin orange and black longitudinal lines, which twist to give the face a slightly scrolled pattern. The abdomen can be white or patterned.