This is a stocky jet-black myna, with bright orange-yellow patches of naked skin and fleshy wattles on the side of its head and nape. At about 29 cm length, it is somewhat larger than the common myna (Acridotheres tristis).It is overall green-glossed black plumage, purple-tinged on the head and neck. Its large, white wing patches are obvious in flight, but mostly covered when the bird is sitting. The bill and strong legs are bright yellow, and there are yellow wattles on the nape and under the eye. These differ conspicuously in shape from the naked eye-patch of the common myna and bank myna (A. ginginianus), and more subtly vary between the different hill mynas from South Asia: in the common hill myna, they extend from the eye to the nape, where they join, while the Sri Lanka hill myna has a single wattle across the nape and extending a bit towards the eyes. In the Southern hill myna, the wattles are separate and curve towards the top of the head. The Nias and Enggano hill mynas differ in details of the facial wattles, and size, particularly that of the bill.Sexes are similar; juveniles have a duller bill.