Vertebrae: 28 - 29. This species is distinguished from all congeners in the Black Sea basin by having the anal-fin origin in front of the vertical through the second dorsal-fin origin and by the combination of the following non-unique characters: body with three dark blotches; often dark spot on back just in front of second dorsal fin; tubercles relatively small so that tubercles and granules on head not clearly different in size; first semicircle blotch narrow, not extending origin of second dorsal fin; absence of granules on caudal peduncle; lm rows of neuromasts 15-21, commonly 17-18; second dorsal-fin segmented rays commonly 7? -8? (Ref. 58669).