Indo-Pacific region. Short and compressed body, bearing large stellate bony plates. First dorsal fin with 5 long weak spines; the second dorsal mounted on a base having 18-23 soft rays. Relatively large pelvic fins opposite first dorsal fin; with 1 spine and 6 soft rays on pelvic fins. Gill openings moderately large. Females with the pelvics forming a brood pouch for incubating eggs. Attains 16 cm maximum length.