It is found in the Amazon basin in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, where it inhabits edges of rivers and lakes, and streams.
It is generally a low-density species that lives in slow-moving or essentially stagnant waters in areas with plant debris.
The Amazon leaffish reaches a maximum standard length of 8 cm (3.1 in), and a total length of 10 cm (3.9 in).
As suggested by its common name, it closely resembles a dead leaf.
The flattened body and filament at the tip of the lower jaw (resembling a stalk) further enhances its similarity to a leaf.
It is gray-brown, but can change its color to some extent.
There is no lateral line and its large mouth can be protracted to as much as 60% of the head length.