Deep compressed body; a small mouth with brush-like teeth; preopercle with large spine at its angle, with vertical margin serrated; bone between preopercle and operculum with 1-4 large spines; bone under eye without large, rear-pointing spines; a single, un- notched dorsal fin, XIV, 17-19; anal rays III, 18-19; dorsal and anal fins end in filaments; tail straight; lateral line weakly developed, ends under end of soft dorsal fin; large (< 50 in lateral series) regularly arranged, very rough scales with distinct ridges on the exposed part, scales extend out onto the median fins.
Body brownish orange, head dark brown; a broad bright orange area just behind head; tail fin orange; juveniles: brownish orange with narrow blue bars on side and pair of similar bars on head, bars gradually become narrower and eventually disappear with increased growth.
Size: reaches 20 cm.
Occurs solitarily or in aggregations on rocky reefs.
Depth: 0-30 m.
Endemic to the Revillagigedo Islands, with stragglers at Guadalupe, Alijos Rocks, southern Baja and the SW Gulf of California and at Banderas Bay in the SE Gulf of California, and Clipperton Island.