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It is dark violet brown, with yellow marbling, and with a body up to 36 mm long. It is an omnivore, feeding on algae and various animals including mussels and limpets.
It is widespread in Southern Europe, from the Black Sea to the Moroccan coast, and along the Atlantic coasts of Portugal, Spain and France, and was observed as early as 1996 as far north as Southampton in the English Channel. This range expansion may be due to the warming of the surface waters.