Also known as the stone bass, this fish is deep-bodied, with a large head and jutting lower jaw. The edge of the tail fin in juveniles is rounded but becomes straight upon reaching adulthood. Adults are a uniform brown colour whereas juveniles have a series of irregular white blotches making them unmistakeable.
Juveniles often come up to the surface and group together in the shade of floating objects. Adults are far more solitary and usually live inside wrecks. The stone-bass feeds on crustaceans, molluscs and small fish and reproduces in the summer when a number of individuals change sex.