Young Chinese high fin banded sharks normally possess brown bodies bearing three dark-colored slanting bands. Adult males are distinguished from adult females by their red coloration. Adult females are of dark purple color with a broad and vertical reddish area along the body. The Chinese high fin banded sharks are also characterized by high and triangular dorsal finnage that extends up to the rear of the anal fin. The thick and fleshy lips bear small papillae without barbels. They have a single row of pharyngeal teeth that have comb-like arrangements.Through adulthood, Chinese high fin banded sharks become darker in appearance.