| Ecological Descriptors
|Be, S, M
Adults: Pale grey-brown, with 6-8 discrete diamond dark marks, often with line of white dots below, along flank. Rows of pale spots along upper side of body and often indistinct dark saddles across top of back. End of top of tail base with a dark spot plus tail fin with dark rear edge and often dark lower lobe. No bars on caudal fin and no dark spot at top of operculum (cf Sand Diver).
Juveniles: 6 -8 black Xs along side of belly before anal fin.
Occurs on the bottom in shallow inshore waters (usually 1 to 20m) over sand or mud bottoms including among seagrasses and lagoons, but can be found down to 200m (650ft). It can withstand a wide range of environmental conditions. Juveniles use coastal lagoons as nurseries. It is a voracious predator that buries itself in sand or mud to ambush prey. It feeds primarily on fishes and small mobile invertebrates.
Dioecious (separate males and females), fertilization is external, eggs are spherical shaped, and spawning occurs throughout the year but peaks once. This species is a substratum egg scatterer/broadcast spawner and non-guarder. This means that they do not protect their eggs, and the eggs are simply scattered in the water and then fall into plants, rocks, etc. Pelagic eggs that hatch into pelagic larvae.