Body pentagonal shape and strongly compressed; head very deep with angular nape and very steep concave forehead-snout profile; lower gill rakers (excluding rudiments) 29-34; dorsal rays VIII+I, 20-24, spines of dorsal fin short, with at least last one isolated; anal rays II+I, 17-18; dorsal and anal fin spines become embedded with age; dorsal and anal fin lobes prolonged in adults; in juveniles front dorsal spines extremely elongate and filamentous, front anal spines not elongate; pelvic fins elongate in small juveniles, becoming very short in adults; no isolated finlets after 2nd dorsal and anal fins; pectoral long, curved; straight part of lateral line with poorly developed, small scutes (hard spiny scales); scales very small, imbedded in skin, body appears scaleless.
Overall silvery in color.
Size: reaches 42 cm.
Habitat: demersal on sandy bottoms.
Depth: 1-50 m.
Southern California to the lower half of the Gulf of California to Chile.