Body very elongate; head long; no cirri on head; snout long & strongly pointed; long mouth, usually reaching far behind eye, tip of lower jaw projecting; first 3 mandibular pores (counting from front of jaw) equally spaced; at least a few teeth on front of roof of mouth, tip of tongue extends forward at least as far as those teeth; dorsal fin XVIII-XX, 34-36, front half of fin moderately elevated in adult males; anal rays II, 34-37; pectoral rays 12-13; tail fin rounded, joined to dorsal and anal fins.
Pale green with a longitudinal row of white spots along mid-sde and another along base of the dorsal fin; 8-10 dark brown to green bars usually evident on side; male with black dorsal fin; blue-grey belly; blue-grey spots on body; black chin and throat and an orange stripe from the rear of the mouth across the operculum.
Size: to 15 cm.
Inhabits worm tubes on sand-rubble bottoms.
Depth: 1-25 m.
Southern California; the western and NE Gulf of California.
There are two subspecies, C. a. alepidota from the Gulf of California and C. alepidota californiensis, from California and northern Baja.