Body elongated with depressed head, subcylindrical flank. In males, first dorsal spine filamentous and separate, other spines short. Second dorsal fin rays much longer, the last one elongated. Anal fin originates beneath 2-3 dorsal ray, last ray elongated. Caudal fin rounded (mostly in females) to lanceolate with two filamentous rays in males. Pectoral fin rounded. Pelvic fin thoracic, inserted before pectoral fin base, the outer rays much longer than inner and connected by membrane to pectoral fin base. Head triangular from dorsal view with pointed snout. Mouth small and protrusible directed downward. Dorso-lateral eyes with very small interorbital distance. Large preopercular spine with 4-7 upward antrorse hook-like serrae. Gill opening small and located above the operculum. No scales.
brownish-fawn body with lateral series of dark brown to black blotches and dots. First dorsal of males black, only a black dot in females.
common 5-10 cm (max. 18 cm).
Other Callionymids: absence of 4-7 upward serrae on the opercular spine. (Fig. xx)
Tripterygiidae, Clinidae and Blennidae: pelvic fin with 2-3 rays; head not depressed.
Gobiidae: pelvic fins unite to form a sucking disk.
BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Feeds on small benthic invertebrates. Clear sexual dimorphism (see: description). Spawning season lasts from March to September. Eggs and larvae planktonic.
benthic. Sandy and muddy substrate to 100 m.