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Aphanius saourensis BLANCO, HRBEK & DOADRIO, 2006

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

All Algerian Aphanius populations were considered to be representative of A. iberus until this species was described in 2006. It differs both morphologically and genetically from A. iberusand A. baeticus, probably diverging about 5.3 million years ago during the opening of the Straits of Gibraltar. It is most easily distinguished by the distinct mottled body patterning which in males of the other two species forms distinct vertical bars and in females dark spot-like markings. A. iberusis now k…

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Aphanius mento (HECKEL, 1843)

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

This species has something of a confused history having been previously been considered synonymous with both A. sophiae (a separate species native to Iraq and Iran) and A. cypris (currently considered a junior synonym of A. mento). Although some populations occur close to and even sympatric with other members of the genus in Turkey phylogenetic studies have shown it to be more closely-related to the Middle Eastern species A. dispar dispar, A. d. richardsoni, A. ginaonis and A. sirhani. It's…

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Aphanius farsicus TEIMORI, ESMAEILI & REICHENBACHER, 2011

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

This species is still sometimes listed as a species of Lebias by some sources although that name has long been considered a synonym of Cyprinodon by most authorities and an ICZN committee voted to suppress the name in favour of Aphanius as recently as 2003.

It was known as A. persicus until late 2011 when it was reclassified due to that name being preoccupied by a Late Miocene fossil species previously referred to as Brachylebias persicus Priem 1908. This change was necessary because Gau…

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Aphanius dispar (RÜPPELL, 1829)

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

A. dispar should only be considered a nominal species as demonstrated by Hrbek and Meyer (2003) who conducted an in-depth phylogenetic study covering the majority of the genus. It was found to represent a paraphyletic grouping meaning it cannot be considered to be a species following the phylogenetic species concept. A. mento, A. sirhani and especially A. ginaonis and A. richardsoni were found to be its closest surviving relatives. Hoedeman (1951) suggested that it should be moved into a separat…

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Aphanius iberus (VALENCIENNES, 1846)

Spanish Toothcarp

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

Populations of Aphanius from Spain's southern, Atlantic coastline and Algeria previously considered representative of A. iberus have now been elevated to full species status with the names A. baeticus (Doadrio, Carmona & Fernández-Delgado, 2002) and A. saourensis (Blanco, Hrbek & Doadrio, 2006), respectively. All three species look broadly similar although A. saourensis can be easily identified as the patterning in males is mottled and does not form vertical bars, while femal…

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Aphanius sirhani VILLWOCK, SCHOLL & KRUPP, 1983

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

Phylogenetic studies have shown this species to be most closely related to A. dispar, A. richardsoni and A. ginaonis within the genus. It probably became isolated when the Red Sea flooded the Wadi Sirhan around 13 million years ago. You 're unlikely to find it on sale in aquatic stores although it may be available via specialist breeders or associations from time-to-time. While Aphanius spp. are certainly not as colourful as some of their relatives their interesting behaviour and continuous acti…

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Aphanius baeticus DOADRIO, CARMONA & FERNÁNDEZ-DELGADO, 2002

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

Prior to its description this species was considered a geographic variant of A. iberus but the 2002 paper revealed the pair to be genetically quite distinct and also highlighted some morphological differences. It is distinguished from A. iberus by possessing 8-9 (usually 8 ) branched dorsal-fin rays (vs. 8-9, sometimes 10), 9-11 branched anal-fin rays (vs. 8-9), a deeper, more elongate body shape, noticeably shorter snout, relatively thick (vs. thin) vertical bars in males and a flank patterning consisting of a few la…

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Aphanius danfordii (BOULENGER, 1890)

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

This species has something of a confused history having been previously been considered synonymous with both A. sophiae and A. fasciatus. Another species, A. chantrei is still listed as valid by some sources but is now known to be a junior synonym of A. danfordii. This became clear during a 1999 study in which the type specimens of A. danfordii were found to be indistinguishable from the Aphanius population living in the Sultan Swamps, the type locality of A. chantrei.

You're unlikely t…

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Aphanius asquamatus (SÖZER, 1942)

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

This little-known, relict species possesses some unique morphological and behavioural traits when compared with its congeners and the genus Kosswigichthys was erected for it in the original description. It has a much more elongate body profile than other Aphanius spp., almost total absence of scalation on the body and three rows of conical (as opposed to tricuspid in all other species) teeth which set it apart. Work by Franz and Villwock in the 1970s revealed it to be a member of Aphanius and showed …

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Aphanius fasciatus (VALENCIENNES, 1821)

March 13th, 2012 — 1:24pm

A 2003 phylogenetic study by Hrbek and Meyer showed that in genetic terms specimens of A. fasciatus collected from different localities do not vary as much as with other members of the genus. The latter tend to exist in geographically separated populations and exhibit localised differentiation. While A. fasciatus does show certain disparities in appearance depending on locality it is thought that periodic migration events have restricted the development of genetic diversity within the species to…

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