Fins - D1- VII, spines 2-5 elongate, 5th longest reaching 2/3 length of D2; D2 16-17(15-18); pectoral 20(21-24); anal 16-17(16-19)
Color - In life: body pale with orange-yellow lateral stripe along midline and two narrow paler yellow stripes above; body along anal fin base yellowish with small dark spot of pigment at insertion of each anal ray. Head pale below, yellowish between orbits and on snout; an elongate, iridescent blue line at posterodorsal corner of eye, another below eye extending to opercular margin; cheek and opercle each with a small spot of iridescent blue; pectoral fin base with bluish cast. Pectoral fins pale; pelvic fins dusky with yellowish cast; spimous dorsal fin with suprabasal and medial orange-yellow stripe; soft dorsal fin with three orange-yellow stripes; anal fin pale; caudal fin yellow ventrally, pale yellow dorsally with median orange-yellow stripe which is continuous with similar stripe on body. Pigmentation of females similar to males. (Birdsong 81)
Distribution - Peninsular Florida (Jacksonville south to Dry Tortugas), ne Gulf of Mexico, Lesser Antilles from St. John to Tobago (Smith 97)
Habitat - Inhabits moderately deep water (>5 m) in areas with a coarse, sandy bottom (Birdsong 81); constructs burrows in the bottom, usually under a sandcovered rock or shell, they typically maintain position in the water column 1-2 feet above its burrow, several fish may occupy a burrow, but often a burrow will be occupied by a pair.
photos by B.M. Feitoza from NE Brazil