The Salamanderfish is an elongate species with a cylindrical body and reddish eyes. It is greenish-brown above and pale below. It has dark blotches and silver speckles on the sides of the body. It grows to about 7 cm in length. Males are smaller than females.
This species is found in freshwater streams and pools in sandy peat flat areas. When pools start to dry up in summer, the fish constructs a small burrow in which it aestivates until heavy rains fall in winter. The diet of salamanderfish consists mainly of insect larvae.
The Salamanderfish cannot move its eyes. Instead it has an unusually flexible neck, that allows the head to be moved independently of the body.