Body robust, compressed; large males with pronounced hump between eyes; snout pointed; a canine tooth at rear of top jaw, 2 pairs of strong canines at front of top and bottom jaws; dorsal fin XII, 10; anal fin III, 11-12; adult males with long filaments on tail fin lobes; pectoral rays 17; lateral line unbroken, smoothly arched; scales large, 31-33 with pores on lateral line.
Adult coloration extremely variable from uniformly dark grey or brownish to bright orange or white with highly irregular and variable pattern of black blotching; juveniles pale yellow to white with 3 black stripes on head and body, also margins of median fins black.
Size: grows to about 61 cm.
Habitat: rocky reefs.
Depth: 5-45 m.
Ecuador to central Chile, also Galapagos Islands; in the Galapagos it is usually seen on rocky reefs in the cooler waters of the western islands (Isabela and Fernandina).