Body elongate, moderately compressed; angle of preopercle a narrow, round-pointed bony spur with 4-8 large spines, width of spur < height of rest of rear border of preopercle; snout and between eyes scaleless; lateral line complete; scales moderately small, rough; lower jaw strongly projecting, tip joins forehead profile; 17-21 gill rakers; dorsal X, 12; anal III, 7 rays, 2nd spine about same length as 3rd; tail concave; 48-50 lateral line scales, 10-13 vertical rows scales on cheek.
Upper 2/3 of head and body dark greybrown, shading to white belly, throat, chest and under mouth; a large dark blue-grey blotch on upper operculum; dorsal with bluegrey basal band, middle red-brown band, outer bluegrey band, margin red brown; tail dark greybrown, anal pale grey, pelvic dark grey; pectoral translucent yellowish brown.
Size: 37 cm.
Habitat: sand and mud bottoms.
Depth: 1-130 m.
Central California to the mouth of the Gulf of California to Peru.