Body deep, compressed, back high; head short, blunt; mouth small, low, ~ horizontal, lips fleshy; inside mouth not red; teeth in bands on jaws, outer ones larger, conical, none on center roof of mouth; a pair of conspicuous pores plus a central groove under the chin; preopercle finely serrated; dorsal continuous but deeply notched, 4th spine longest, XII, 15-17; anal III, 9-10, 2nd spine long and thick; pectoral fins long, reaching anal origin; tail straight to slightly concave; scales moderate to large, rough, over entire body and head except front of snout, lips and chin, on membranes between dorsal and anal soft rays; lines of scales above lateral line in oblique rows above lateral line ; lateral-line scales 49-57.
Bright yellow with dark-edged blue stripes on side; a pair of blackish bars anteriorly, one through eye and another immediately behind head; juveniles with yellow head and anterodorsal region of body, a dark brown midlateral stripe, and large black spot on base of tail fin.
Size: to 30 cm.
Habitat: generally seen in small aggregations on rocky reefs, but not particularly common.
Depth: 5-25 m.
Southern Baja and the lower Gulf of California to northern Peru, the Revillagigedos, Cocos and Malpelo.