Live in kelp and other seaweeds and over rocks. Found usually at depths shallower than 23 m but also caught at depths up to 73 m. Often form small groups, frequently well off bottom. When disturbed often burrows in bottom sediment. Sleep at night buried in sand with head protruding. Feed on a variety of small invertebrates and also picks parasites from other fishes that come to be cleaned. No sex reversal. Pelagic spawner (Ref. 56049).