Body relatively elongate, the depth 25-33% of SL; head large, blunt; snout length greater than distance between eye and gill opening; wide and convex between eyes; nasal organ a short papilla with 2 small holes at end; eyes high on sides of head; jaws are a strong beak composed of 4 fused heavy powerful teeth with a central suture on each jaw; a slit-like gill opening in front of the pectoral fin base; a single short- based dorsal fin at rear of body; a similar-shaped anal fin with origin under or behind last few dorsal rays; dorsal rays 7-9, anal rays 6-9; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin bluntly convex, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin, small spines on head and body, none on tail base or before nostrils.
Blackish to olive brown on upper half, white below narrow white to yellow lines, bars, and oblique bands on head and back, with a double concentric oval on top of back, and 3 narrow pale cross-bars between the ovals and eyes; head, sides and upper back, with numerous small dark spots; iris yellow.
Size: to 48 cm.
Common on rocky reefs and adjacent sand patches, often seen in midwater high off the bottom or at the surface.
Depth: 1-105 m.
Southern California to the Gulf of California to Peru, including Galapagos.