As the fish is covered with dermal plates it is often found as a heap of disarticulated plates together with a more or less well preserved tail. The skin covering the tail is often only visible as a vague smear. The jaws have tiny teeth like structures and it could probably prey on small acanthodians and juvenile specimens.
This placoderm looks very much like Coccosteus cuspidatus, except there are some slight differences in the morphology of the dermal plates of the head and body. From Orkney specimens having the tail are never found.The fish does not occur in the finely laminated fish beds like the Sandwick Fish Bed and so only the dermal plates are preserved.. From Banniskirk, Caithness, however specimens are known showing the tail.
This small to medium sized acanthodian is very common in the Sandwick Fish Bed. Loose spines can be found in the sediments above the Sandwick Fish Bed. The spines are tiny and not very much inserted into the body. They were slender fishes and eaten often by the bigger predators in the lake.