Body oblong, compressed; head large, snout short; eye large; teeth small, no canines, usually present on center and sides of roof of mouth; gill rakers (including rudiments) 5 + 13-14; preopercle serrated, lower membranous flap not extending beyond edge of preoperculum; dorsal rays VI + I, 9; anal rays II, 8; pectoral rays 11-12; tail fin moderately concave; body scales rough; last few scales on tail fin; a row of scales along center of nape; lateral line complete, extends onto base of tail fin; lateral-line scales 23-27.
Red with large black spot at base of tail fin; a broad dusky stripe on snout and continued behind eye to edge of gill cover; also a narrow dusky stripe sometimes present on front half of lateral line; a pair of silvery-white stripes through eye.
Maximum size to about 10 cm.
Inhabits rock and coral reefs.
Depth 3-45 m.
SE Gulf of California to central Peru, the Revillagigedos, Galapagos and Cocos.