| Ecological Descriptors
|Be, S, Co
Body elongated, brownish gray on the head and upper trunk. The belly is light. Upper end of the gill cover with a dark spot. Side of body with about eight to thirteen reddish-brown cross-bands, widest at the lateral line and extending downward meeting diamond shaped markings along lateral line. Body with thin longitudinal yellow-gold stripes. Black blotch on shoulder. Red lizardfish (Synodus synodus) are easily confused. Positive identification needs ray count (anal 11 vs 12-14).
A clear-water species that occurs most commonly over sandy, rocky or coralline bottoms. It feeds on fishes and shrimps and may ambush fishes that visit shrimp cleaning stations. Most common between 7 and 25 m, but down to 320 m. Rest on or bury themselves in sand, sometimes with only the head visible. Also rest on reef tops.