It measures 8 to 10 cm and weighs 12 to 13 g. It has a short black bill with a curved top, brown irises and gray-blue orbital skin. The male is black from the forehead to the nape with yellow dots on the crown and white behind. It has a white loreal region, chestnut brown ear coverts sometimes streaked with white, a grayish-brown neck, grayish-brown occiput and olive-stained upper parts. Its coverts have yellowish-green margins, the upper surface of its tail is dark brown and in the central pair of feathers it has striations on the internal margins. Malar region, cheeks, chin and throat whitish with black dots. The rest of its lower parts are whitish at times with very fine greyish striations. The female is distinguished because she has white dots on the head. Young people are more opaque and darker than adults.