Body with wide, dark brown bands and narrow, dull yellow stripes that converge near the tail base. On the upper base of the tail there is a white spot, with usually a second smaller spot underneath. On the body are further small scattered orange spots, many of which have brown centers, and whitish spots of the same size. On the head are dull yellow lines that run towards the snout, those near the eyes alternating with bluish lines. First dorsal spine originating above the center or front part of the eye and followed by a deep groove into which the spine can fold; the spine cannot be locked.
Size up to 20 cm.
Found in shallow water and around coral and rocky reefs, down to 50 m. Usually remains near the bottom, hiding among gorgonians and branching corals. Feeds on bottom growth, primarily sponges and algae. The young are pelagic and form a highly important food item in the diet of larger predaceous fishes.
Occasional to uncommon Florida and Bahamas, common to occasional Caribbean.