Heavy round body; head large, blunt; snout short; nasal organ is a double tentacle, with minute pits on opposing surfaces of each tentacle; eyes high on sides of head; jaws are a heavy 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 below the dorsal; dorsal rays 10-11; anal rays 10-11; pectoral rays 17-19; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail base as long as deep; tail fin rounded, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin, small spinules on head and body except snout and posterior tail base; no fleshy skin flaps.
Greyish to greenish brown with small white spots dorsally, shading to white below with curved dark stripes; pectoral base and gill opening alternately circled by narrow white and black bands.
Size: reaches 50 cm.
Inhabits shallow coral and rocky reefs and nearby soft bottoms.
Depth: 1-90 m.
Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific; northern Baja to Ecuador (except for the Gulf of California) and all the oceanic islands except Clipperton.