Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus has a maximum recorded length of 51.0 cm, and a maximum recorded weight of 1,110 grams. It is predominantly red, with white, brown and black mottling and has 10-12 dorsal spines, 18-20 dorsal soft rays and 35 vertebrae.
Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus lives in temperate, demersal marine environments between 66°N - 34°N. It usually lives close to rocky shores but can survive at depths as low as 450 meters. Adults feed on mussels, crabs, and barnacles. They are not harmful to humans.