Body oval, moderately compressed; snout pointed, with ~ straight profile; a fringe of cirri on rear edge of front nostril; bone under front of eye with partly free rear margin; mouth moderately large; a row of small canines on jaws with a band of simple teeth inside those; teeth on center and sides of roof of mouth; preopercle margin coarsely serrated; operculum with 2 flat spines; dorsal fin X, 12, continuous, 1st soft ray prolonged, slightly notched between spines and rays, membranes between spines deeply indented, each spine with a large bunch of cirri at the tip; anal fin III, 6; tail fin bluntly straight edged; lower 6 rays of the pectoral stout, with membranes deeply notched, distinctly longer than other rays, = top 1-2 & lower 6 pectoral rays unbranched; pelvic I, 5, its origin behind pectoral base; scales smooth, none between eyes, 3-4 rows of large scales on cheek; 41-45 on lateral line.
Whitish or pink with squarish red to brown blotches covering sides; head with smaller red to brown spots and blotches.
Size: grows to 10 cm.
Habitat: rocky and coral reefs.
Depth: 2-40 m, usually seen perched on coral heads in 3-15 m.
Widely distributed in the tropical Indo-Pacific; the central Gulf of California to Ecuador and all the offshore islands.