Liparis liparis is a small, clinging fish related to the lumpsucker (Cyclopteridae). They have tad-pole shaped bodies. The head is relatively large and broad compared to the elongated and tapering body. Underneath there is a rounded sucker derived from the pelvic fins. They have a single, long dorsal fin and a long anal fin. The skin of liparids is scaleless and their skin is loose, soft and slimy. The colour is a poor guide to identity, since it is variable with the habitat. The colour varies from brown to yellow, red or green.