Fish with a stout body, firm head, with powerful jaws, and that has a strong ridge to the operculum. The young ones have a purplish colour with irregular spots, adults are greyish brown instead.
It lives in depths of up to 100 m, on rocky bottoms. It feeds on fish, crustaceans and cephalopods.
It is 60 to 100 cm long and, as a maximum and exceptionally, it can reach 2 meters and weigh more than 40 kg.
The spawning season takes place at the end of spring and in summer.
It is captured with longline.