Body oblong; head large; bones of head and shoulder girdle strongly sculptured with numerous spine-bearing ridges; sensory canals on top separated by broad ridges and covered by skin; snout short and blunt; eye large, wider than snout length; one papilla behind eye; light organ under eye rotatable, with raisable shutter; mouth oblique, moderate size; teeth small and conical; dorsal fin in two parts, IV + I, 14-15; anal rays II, 10; pelvic fin I, 6; tail fin deeply forked; scales very small and very rough, about 80 in longitudinal series on upper side; scales of lateral line not enlarged; a row of about 12-13 enlarged, keeled scales along center of belly.
Overall blackish brown, no reflective markings on body; a prominent pearly white luminous organ under eye.
Size: grows to at least 26 cm.
Habitat: rocky bottoms.
Depth: 0-100 m.
Known only from a few specimens captured in the central east and SW Gulf of California and lower Baja California.