As its name suggests, the cape gurnard is found in the waters of the African cape, from the Southeast Atlantic off Namibia to the Indian Ocean off Mozambique. They are capable of surviving in a wide range of environments, including shallow coastal waters and
depths of up to 390 metres. With a maximum recorded age of 16 years, the cape gurnard is a relatively long-lived species. It can grow up to 75 centimetres in length, but is more typically half that size. They have cylindrical-shaped bodies covered in beige and red blotches, and pectoral fins that open like wings and are patterned with electric blue. Cape gurnards are well camouflaged against sandy and muddy substrates; a characteristic that helps them to ambush other fish species.