Their preferred habitat is sandy bottoms around reefs. They are found in warmer waters from the tidal edge to depths of 60 metres or more.
Silver-blue to slate grey with tinges of gold on the upper body and a silver underside. The body is deep with long, low dorsal and anal fins and an elongated fin ray running from the pectoral fin. Porae are distinguished from Tarakihi by their colouring, lack of a dark shoulder band, and more pronounced lips.
Porae are members of the Cheilodactylidae family (tarakihi, morwongs) and are closely related to Tarakihi.
Spawning occurs in the late summer and autumn, and pelagic larvae settle as young the following summer. They grow rapidly, reaching 28 centimetres in a year.