Size: L 50 cm. Wt: Males: 680 g. Females: 540 g. Sexually dimorphic in colour and size. This species is not seasonally dimorphic.

Male: head dark green, sleek, with long crest; white "chinstrap" and throat; eye red with red ring; bill orange-red with black; breast chestnut; flanks buff, bordered anteriorly by black and white stripe; back dark, irridescent.

Female: head greyish, with small crest; eyes spectacled with white; bill grey; breast mottled brown; back dark, with less irridescence.

Juvenile: similar to breeding female, but paler, with less distinct eye spectacle.

Duckling: upperparts dark olive green; face, breast and edge of wing pale yellow; yellow spots on back; eye stripe extends from eye to nape; legs and feet greenish-black; bill grey.