Body elongated with pointed snout. Mouth at the lower part of head. Jaws do not reach back the vertical of eye. Large canine teeth on upper jaw followed by stout conical teeth. No canine teeth in the lower jaw. A pair of long barble on the chin reaching back the operculum edge. Two dorsal fins. The first dorsal spine very small, the 2nd and 3rd spines are the longest. The last rays of the dorsal and anal fins are elongated. Caudal fin forked. Body covered with large scales, three scales between the two dorsal fins.
color : typical body coloration of this species is whitish with brown back and a black longitudinal stripe running from the snout to below the end of second dorsal fin base, plus a black spot on the upper caudal peduncle. The specimens collected in the Mediterranean had pinkish background, probably due to their deep depth of collection.
size : common 5-25 cm (max. 30 cm).
Mullus spp.: no teeth on the upper jaw; no longitudinal black stripe.
Upeneus spp.: no canine teeth in the upper jaw; no longitudinal black stripe.
Pseudupeneus prayensis: no longitudinal black stripe.
BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Lives in small groups. Feeds on small benthic invertebrates, mainly crustaceans and polychaetes which they detect by probing their barbles in the sand. Eggs and larvae planktonic. The juveniles settle in sandy shores and use them as nursery grounds.
habitat : soft substrate between corals and rocks.