Eastern Atlantic: Madeira and Canary islands. Also found along the coast of Portugal northward to the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean, Black Sea and Sea of Azov.
Inhabit chiefly Zostera seagrass beds but also found on Posidonia beds and sandy bottoms, rarely on rocky bottoms. Carnivorous, feed on worms, crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms and hydrozoans. The sexes are separated, although these fish are potential hermaphrodites; certain individuals are protandric.