Friday, 27 May 2016

Garra lorestanensis: A new species of Blind Cave Fish from Loven Cave in Lorestan Province, Iran.

Many cave systems around the world are home to Cave Fish, populations of Fish that have become isolated within subterranean waterways, and both evolved adaptations to living in these systems and lost adaptations to life in sunlit waterways, most obviously manifested in the absence of pigment and eyes. Loven Cave in the Ab-e Sirum or Ab-e Serum Valley in Lorestan Province, Iran, has been known to be an outlet of a limestone cave system beneath the Zagros Mountains since the mid-twentieth century. Two species of unique Cave Fish have been describd from this cave, both blind and pigmentless; a species of Sucker-mouthed Barb, Garra typhlops, and an Asian Stone Loach, Paracobitis smithi.

In a paper published in the journal FishTaxa on 22 March 2016, Hamed Mousavi-Sabet of the Department of Fisheries at the University of Guilan and Soheil Eagderi of the Department of Fisheries at the University of Tehran, describe a new species of Cave Fish from the Loven Cave.

The new species is also placed in the genus Garra and is given the specific name lorestanensis, meaning 'From Loristan'. The species is described from six adult specimens ranging in size from 27.2-58 mm in length. It differs from Garra typhlops in having a mental disk (disk-shaped structure on the lower jaw, used to attach to the substrate during feeding), which the previously described species lacks; a genetic analysis supported the idea that this was a digannostic for a separate species rather than a variable trait within the species (as with some other species of Garra).

Garra lorestanensis, 55 mm SL; Iran: Loven Cave. Mousavi-Sabet & Eagderi (2016).

See also... nanningensis: A fossil Loach from the Middle Oligocene of Guangxi Province, China.                                                     Loaches, Corbitidae, are freshwater Cypriniform Fish related to Carp and Minnows, found across Eurasia... new species of River Loach from Rakhine State, Myanmar.                                         River Loaches (Nemacheilidae) are ubiquitous members of the Eurasian freshwater fauna, with at least 704 species in 46 genera... new species of blind Cavefish from Indiana.                                                   Cavefish (Amblyopsidae) are a group of predominantly cave-dwelling Perciform Fish from North America. Of the eight currently described species three are found at the surface, predominantly around springs, and...
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