Knipowitschia caucasica
   (Berg, 1916)

Common names: English: Caucasian goby
German: Kaukasusgrundel

Common synonym: none.

Length: 4 - 5 cm.

Grey, with 4 or 5 cross bars. D1 with dark margin (especially females). Females with dark spot on chin.

Anterior nostril short (tubular). Predorsal
area and head naked.
33-35 (31-38) scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI (V-VII); D2 I+8 (7-10); A I+8 (7-10); P 15-17 (15-18).

Carnivorous; small crustaceans, larvae of insects.

Spawning season in Black Sea: March to June. One Female has 220 - 500 eggs (1.65-2.5 x 0.58-0.85 mm); layed under stones, bivalves (Anodonta, Cardium), sometimes on plant roots or stems. Hatching at 3.0 - 3.8 mm. Mature after one year.

0 - 2 m. Lagoons, brackish water, freshwater, salt-works (in salinities up to 55 ‰). Less common.

Knipowitschia caucasica
Photograph: Murat Bilecenoglu ©
Black Sea



Species list
General info


Mediterranean: Middle Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea; Black Sea; Caspian Sea. A record from the northern Adriatic represents probably another species.


Literature on Knipowitschia caucasica


Berg L.S., 1916: Les poissons des eaux douces de la Russie. Moscou: xxvii+563 p. [in Russian].

Bilecenoglu M., Taskavak E., Mater S. 6 Kaya M., 2002: Checklist of the marine fishes of Turkey. Zootaxa 113: 1194.

Economou A.N., Daoulas C., Psarras T. & Barbieri-Tseliki R., 1994: Freshwater larval fish from Lake Trichonis (Greece). J. Fish Biol. 45: 17-35.

Kevrekidis T. Kokkinakis & Koukouras A., 1990: Some aspects of the biology and ecology of Knipowitschia caucasica (Teleostei: Gobiidae) in the Evros Delta (North Aegean Sea). Helgoländer Meeresunters. 44: 173-187.

Koblitskaya A.F., 1961: Novye dannye o biologii bychka-bubyra Pomatoschistus caucasicus (Kawrajsky) Berg-iz avandelty Volgi. Vop. Ikhtiol. 1: 253-261.

Kovacic M., 2005: A new species of Knipowitschia (Gobiidae) from Dalmatia, Croatia. Cybium 29: 275-280.

Kovacic M., 2020: Checklist of gobies (Teleostei: Gobiidae) of the Mediterranean Sea and a key for species identification. Zootaxa 4877: 075-101.

Kovacic M. & A. Pallaoro, 2003: Is Knipowitschia caucasica-like form from the Adriatic Sea a new goby species? Evidence from a morphological approach in the eastern Adriatic Sea. Cybium 27: 131-136.

Kovacic M. & Patzner R.A., 2011: North-Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Gobies. In: The Biology of Gobies. (Eds: Patzner R.A. et al.) Science Publishers: 177-206.

Mckay S.I. & Miller P.J. (1997): The affinities of European sand gobies (Teleostei: Gobiidae). J. Nat. Hist. 31: 1457-1482.

Miller P.J., 1972: Gobiid fishes of the Caspian genus Knipowitschia from the Adriatic Sea. J. mar. biol. Ass. U.K. 52: 145-160.

Miller P.J., 1986: Gobiidae. In: Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Volume III. (Eds.: Whitehead P.J.P. et al.) pp. 1019-1085. UNESCO, Paris.

Miller P.J., Vasil'eva E.D. & Economou A.N., Pinchuk V.I., 2004: Knipowitschia caucasica (Berg, 1916). In: The freshwater fishes of Europe. Vol. 8/II Gobiidae 2 (Ed.: Miller P.J.) pp. 343-364. Aula-Verlag, Wiebelsheim.

Vanhove M.P.M. et al., 2012: Phylogenetics and biogeography of the Balkan 'sandgobies' (Teleostei: Gobiidae): vulnerable species in need of taxonomic revision. Biol. J. Linnean Soc. 105: 73-91.




Drawings of Knipowitschia caucasica


Drawings from Miller, 1986





Copyright © 2016 - Robert A. Patzner, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Univ. Salzburg, Austria.
State: 2016-04-17