The head and body flattened below and completely covered in a heavy armor of bony plates and spines; bony shield covering head ends in an pointed wing; snout long and broad, extended in a pair of short, broad bony plates that converge towards front; barbels below the lower jaw in a short, thick bush, 1 moderately short filamentous barbell + 21-26 short barbells; no large spines on the preoperculum; dorsal fin divided into spiny and soft parts, VIII + 18; pectoral fin with main fin (11-13) plus 2 free rays below; anal fin without spines, 18-20; pelvic fins are wide apart, below base of pectorals, with I, 5 rays; lateral line plates 33.
Brick red body; fins pale translucent pinkish; outer 2/3 of first dorsal covered by a large black blotch.
Reaches 15.5 cm.
Habitat: on soft bottoms.
Depth 50-295 m.
Costa Rica to northern Peru; vagrant in the Galapagos.