They often rest on the bottom of mixed sand and coral but they do not sit upright in the water. The mucus of the soapfish is distasteful to predators and will froth of fish if put in small container. The largest of the Caribbean soapfishes is the greater soapfish (Rypticus saponaceus), a species which is found throughout the tropical Atlantic.
Greater soapfish vary in color from a drab brown to reddish-brown to gray. The fish generally occurs in shallow water on bottoms with eroded limestone or mixed sand and rocks, as well as around reefs.
In the western Atlantic, greater soapfish are found in the waters off Bermuda, throughout the Caribbean and from Florida to Brazil.