Other Common Names

German: Brauner Borstenzahndoktor; Japanese: Sazanamihagi. PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The body is compressed and disc-like, with a venomous, scalpel-like caudal spine on each side of the caudal peduncle. The caudal fin is lunate. There are eight spines and 27-31 soft rays in the dorsal fin, three spines and 24-28 soft rays in the anal fin, and 17 (sometimes 16) soft rays in the pectoral fin. Adult coloration varies from dark gray to orangish brown. Can change color temporarily from dark brown to light tan. Melanistic, albinistic, and xanthic color patterns have been reported as well. There are several fine pale blue lines along the flank. Fine orange spots appear on the upper head and back to the anterior base of the dorsal fin. Both the dorsal and anal fins have narrow dark brown and pale blue bands, running longitudinally in alternation. Juveniles and subadults are especially colorful, with a small black spot located at the posterior base of the dorsal fin. Grows to 10.2 in (26 cm) in length.

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