The largest of the pikes, this species is also known as "muskie" or "musky." They are long and slender, with a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. They differ from other members of the pike family in having both the gill cover and cheek scaled only on their upper halves, and in having a row of 6 to 9 pores along each side of lower jaw. The color pattern on body consists of dark spots or bars on a light background. Usually there are 17 to 19 slender bones (branchiostegal rays) in the membranes along lower edge of gill cover, and 130 to 157 scales in the lateral line, which is series of sensory pores that form a faint line along both sides of a fish's sides.