Body robust, thickest behind head and insertion of the pectorals, becoming progressively compressed toward the tail. Head conical, antero-inferior mouth with thick lips. Upper jaw protruding. Eye oval and oblique. Interorbital larger than twice eye diameter. Operculum ending with spine covered partially by skin. Pectoral rounded, pelvic thick and fleshy especially in the outer side. Dorsal and anal fins extend with constant height toward the caudal peduncle, where they end symmetrically. Caudal truncate, with small upper portion protruding.
variable with sex and age. In the Mediterranean specimens, the color was brown on dorsal surfaces and light brown on the ventral surface. Twelve brown bands on flank; after the second band, alternately large and thin. Dark spot at base of caudal rays above the lateral line.
common 30-50 cm (max. 70 cm).
Labridae: anal fin less than one-third of SL. (Pinguipes brasilianus - more than one-third).
BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
Carnivorous species feeding primarily on molluscs, crustaceans and other benthic invertebrates.
shallow coastal waters, on different kinds of substrata, but especially sand.