A small, unusually colored barbet with a brown back, a red face, and pale yellow underparts. Also note the pale rump, the pale streaks on the back, and the red streaks on the underparts. Found in a variety of open habitats including savanna, thornscrub, and secondary scrub, usually in pairs or small groups. The color scheme separates this species from other barbets, while the typically chunky barbet bill separates it from other similarly sized birds. Vocalizations include scolding rattles and a long, slightly descending series of hollow hoots.