Dusky rubberlips are oblong fish with pale grey-brown bodies that are darker on top. They have thick lips that become more fleshy with age.
These fish are omnivores that feed on bottom-dwelling invertebrates, small fish and seaweed. Juveniles tend to be more herbivorous than adults. Juvenile rubberlips commonly congregate around floating seaweed in shallow waters.
Dusky rubberlips inhabit tropical rocky reefs of the African east coast, from Port Alfred to Kenya, and India to a depth of 80m.