Body slender, moderately compressed; snout very long (~ ½ head length); upper head profile slightly concave; a fringe of cirri on rear edge of front nostril; mouth moderately large; a row of small canines on jaws with a band of simple teeth inside those; teeth on center but not sides of roof of mouth; operculum with 1 flat spine; preopercle strongly serrated; dorsal fin X, 13, continuous, slightly notched between spines and rays, membranes between spines deeply indented, each spine with 2-4 cirri at the tip; anal fin III, 7; tail fin bluntly straight edged; lower 5-6 rays of the pectoral stout, with membranes deeply notched, distinctly longer than other rays, used for perching on the bottom; pelvic I, 5, its origin behind pectoral base; scales smooth, 51-53 on lateral line; no scales between eyes; 3 rows of large scales on cheek.
Whitish with horizontal and vertical red bands forming a cross-hatch pattern.
Size: to 13 cm.
Habitat: generally seen perched on gorgonians or black coral at depths below 20 m, although associates with small gorgonians in as little as 5 m of water at some eastern Pacific sites.
Depth: 5-100 m.
Widely distributed in the Indo- Pacific; the tip of Baja and the central Gulf of California to Colombia, as well as the Revillagigedos, Galapagos and Malpelo.