Diagnosis: Small, fairly slender fishes, depth around 22-24% of standard length (Ref. 188). Belly rounded, smooth, no trace of scutes before or behind pelvic fins; pelvic scute itself present, however, the tips of its lateral arms bifurcated (Ref. 188). Jaws about equal, with fine teeth; no second supra-maxilla; lower gillrakers 10 to 12 (Ref. 188). Congothrissa gossei occurs with other clupeid species, but the smoothly rounded belly, absence of spiny post-pelvic scutes and lack of a second supra-maxilla makes it unmistakable (Ref. 188).
Description: Jaws about equal; lower jaw not prominent, even a bit shorter but never longer than upper jaw (Ref. 188, 105003). Dorsal fin with 14-16 rays of which 3 unbranched rays; anal fin with 15-17 rays of which 2 unbranched rays; pectoral fin with 1 unbranched and 10-11 branched rays; pelvic fin insertion just behind dorsal fin origin, with 1 unbranched and 6-7 branched fin rays; caudal fin with 19 rays (Ref. 188, 105003). Scales large; about 20-22 scales in lateral series; 5-6 scales in transverse series (Ref. 188, 105003).
Colouration: body pale yellow, probably silvery coloured for life specimens (Ref. 105003). In preserved specimens: a trail of chromatophores is present in the middle of the flanks, especially on caudal peduncle; also dorsal side of head with fine chromatophores (Ref. 105003).