Diagnosis: adipose fin present (Ref. 43912, 81643) and fully developed (Ref. 81643). Posterior nostrils as close as (Ref. 81643) or closer to each other than are the anterior pair (Ref. 43912, 81643). Inner side of pectoral fin spine weakly serrated (Ref. 43912, 81643). Barbels well developed, nasal barbel always reaching beyond posterior eye border (Ref. 43912, 81643) and often beyond anterior border of opercle (Ref. 81643). Medium-sized species, growing over 25 cm SL with distinct lateral bands on body, predominantly with several dark lateral streaks and/or irregular marbling (Ref. 81643). Lower jaw reaching as far as snout or only a little shorter than upper jaw (Ref. 43912, 81643), never completely surrounded by the upper lips when mouth is closed (Ref. 43912). Interorbital width 54.6-68.2% HL; mouth width 48.7-63% HL (Ref. 81643). 45-60 branched anal fin rays (Ref. 43912, 81643).
Description: head more or less rounded; mouth terminal or subterminal (Ref. 81643). 44-47 non-fused vertebrae; 9-11 branchiostegal rays on one side of head; caudal peduncle somewhat deeper than long or slightly longer than deep; nasal barbel reaches at least to posterior border of eye and at maximum to slightly beyond posterior border of opercle; maxillary barbel reaches at least to just before anterior border of opercle and at maximum to somewhat further than posterior border of opercle; inner mandibular barbel short, never reaches beyond posterior border of eye; outer mandibular barbel reaches at least to just before anterior border of opercle and at maximum to its posterior border (Ref. 43912).
Coloration: preserved specimens: head and dorsum dark brown; dark band above, and another below, lateral line, these merge close to caudal fin base; another lateral band from base of pectoral fin to base of caudal fin; 2 dark bands along anal fin (Ref. 43912, 81643). Blackish blotch on each side above pectoral fin (humeral spot) where swim-bladder lies close below skin; pectoral and dorsal fins faintly spotted; pelvic fins uncoloured or faintly speckled; both lobes and base of caudal fin dark; ventral side of head and body uncoloured or irregularly brownish spotted; in many specimens irregular marblings on sides (Ref. 43912). Live specimens: same pattern as in preserved specimens, sometimes combined with purple or greenish reflections (Ref. 43912).