Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A new fish: Capoeta coadi

Capoeta is a genus of ray-finned fish in the carp family that live in Western Asian (Middle East). The genus includes about 24 species widely distributed in many river drainages and basins in southwestern Asia except the Arabian Peninsula.

Most of these species are not very easy to tell apart. As a result some more recent studies started to use DNA as an additional tool to delineate species and check the validity of new ones.

Today's new species was named after Brian W. Coad, a well-known Canadian ichthyologist to honor his contributions to the knowledge of freshwater fishes of Iran.

For the experts: As presently recognized, the genus Capoeta includes 24 species, nine of which are known to occur in Iran (C. aculeata, C. capoeta, C. buhsei, C. damascina, C. fusca, C. heratensis, C. mandica, C. saadii and C. trutta) and are distributed in almost all Iranian basins except Sistan and Mashkid. Capoeta coadi sp. n. is a new species from the Karun River, southern Iran, draining into the Arvand Rud (Shatt al-Arab) which drains into the Persian Gulf. It is distinguished from all other species of Capoeta by the combination of the following characters: elongate and usually cylindrical body; 8–9 branched dorsal-fin rays; last unbranched dorsal-fin ray weakly to moderately ossified and serrated along 1/3–2/3 of its length; scales small; 70-84 in lateral line (total); 12–17 scales between dorsal-fin origin and lateral line; 9-11 scales between anal-fin origin and lateral line; 26–32 circum-peduncular scales; 10–13 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch; 45–47 total vertebrae; one posterior pair of barbels; bright golden-greenish or silvery body coloration in life; length of the longest dorsal-fin ray 15–22% SL; head length 23–26% SL; mouth width 7–10% SL. Capoeta coadi is also distinguished from all other congeners in the Iranian drainages by fixed diagnostic nucleotide substitutions in the mtDNA COI barcode region and cyt b. It is nested in the Capoeta damascina species complex.

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