Mostly observed singly or in pairs, hovering above sandy bottoms. Small individuals occasionally recorded in groups.
Feeds on small crustaceans, organic matter and algae by sieving sands through gills.
Monogamous pair-spawners. Males maintain several burrows within their territories for shelter and spawning.
Females lay eggs in burrows. Males are responsible for guarding the eggs which limit feeding until eggs hatch. In Japan, experiments showed removal of egg-tending males leading to female providing parental care of eggs by fanning the egg mass and attacking intruding fishes.
Lives for at least 14 months.
Males reach maturity at 5.0 cm (Total Length) or 4.8 months. Females, 6.0 cm (Total Length) or 6 months
The body is dark purple or near black with dark brown to blackish vertical bars edged with pale blue.
Bluish stripes on head and across cheeks.
Prominent dark spot on mid-first dorsal fin and on upper caudal fin base.
Smaller individual/ juvenile:
Body whitish to sandy grey.
Five narrow orange-brown vertical bars.
Spot on first dorsal fin is present but less prominent.