The killifish genus Valencia is the only fish genus found only Europe and the Mediterranean basin, and the recent description of a new member brings the total number of species to three.
This trio forms the family Valenciidae and all members are critically-endangered with restricted natural ranges within which they have been subjected to extensive habitat degradation and competition with introduced species. V. hispanica is found only in a handful of localities along the Mediterranean coastline of Spain, V. letourneuxi occurs in northwestern Greece and Albania, and V. robertae, new species, is known with certainty from the lower Pinios River in Peloponnes and the lower Mornos River in mainland Greece, but may also occur further north.
V. robertae can be told apart from V. letourneuxi by the presence of short lateral bars or small vertically-elongated blotches along the flanks in females (vs. no lateral bars or blotches) and an almost triangular anal fin with a straight posterior margin (vs. anal fin almost rounded, posterior margin convex) and anal fin depth, measured from anal-fin origin to tip of third branched ray, fitting 1.4-1.5 times in the caudal peduncle depth (vs. 1.2-1.3).
Male V. robertae are distinguished by having prominent bars on flank between the axial blotch and the base of the caudal fin (vs. bars absent or very faint anterior to a vertical through the pelvic-fin origin); nape and back bluish-brown (vs. yellowish) and a long anal fin, reaching to or almost to the base of the caudal fin in individuals measuring longer than 30 mm SL (vs. to middle of caudal peduncle).
It is distinguished from V. hispanica by having a hyaline to bluish caudal fin (vs. yellow to orange) with a bold black posterior margin in males (vs. reddish-brown).
The new species is named for Roberta Barbieri from Athens, who “studied the Greek Valencia species for many years and is engaged in the conservation of the two species”.
For further information refer to the full, open access paper: Freyhof, J., H. Kärst and M. Geiger, 2014. Valencia robertae, a new killifish from southern Greece (Cyprinodontiformes: Valenciidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters v. 24 (no. 4): 289-298.