Found in both marine and brackish water. 

Larvae with elaborate spines (elongated and serrate) on the head and scale.

All species live in a burrow, some in a large rubble mound of their own construction, in pairs or colonies.

They feed on benthic invertebrates or zoopankton. Assumed to be nonguarders (of eggs).

One relatively long dorsal fin; total dorsal fin rays 22-64. Relatively long anal fin; 1 or 2 weak spines; soft rays 14-56. Top of head with or without cutaneous ridge. Operculum with one blunt or sharp spine. Branchiostegal rays 6. Truncate, double emarginate, emarginate to forked caudal fin. Vertebrae 24, 25, or 27 (precaudal 10 or 11).
Greek, mala = a lot of + Greek, akantha = thorn
Malacanthus plumieri