[Ichthyology • 2016] Iranocichla persa • A New Cichlid Species (Teleostei, Cichlidae) from southern Iran
Iranocichla persa sp. n. is described from the Shur, Hasanlangi and Minab River drainages flowing into the Persian Gulf at the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran. It is distinguished from I. hormuzensis, from the Mehran River drainage, by nuptial males having a bright orange breast and lower part of the head (vs. black), a poorly developed or invisible (vs. distinctive) “Tilapia-mark” in the dorsal fin and very clear white spots making almost wavy bars or stripes on the caudal fin (vs. without or with very few white spots). Mitochondrial DNA sequence characters suggest that both Iranocichla species are closely related but form two distinct clades, diagnosable by several fixed mutations in ND2, D-loop and partially by COI sequences. Populations from Kol River drainage, which is situated in-between the Mehran and the Shur River drainages, are more similar to I. hormuzensis in terms of their male nuptial coloration but to I. persa sp. n. in their mitochondrial sequence characters. Their status requires further investigation.
Keywords: Barcode region, inland fish, Middle East, Persian Gulf
Iranocichla persa sp. n.
Diagnosis: Iranocichla persa is distinguished from I. hormuzensis by its nuptial coloration in males. In I. persa, the lower part of the head and breast are orange (vs. black), the background colour of the flank is grey with an orange hue (vs. black), each scale is furnished with an iridescent patch and these patches take up more space (vs. less) than the space between them, a poorly developed or invisible (vs. distinctive) “Tilapia-mark” in the dorsal fin, and very clear white spots making almost wavy bars or stripes on the caudal fin (vs. without or with very few white spots). Both species are also distinguished by multiple fixed molecular characters in mitochondrial ND2, D-loop (see Schwarzer et al. 2016).
Distribution: Iranocichla persa is known from the Shur (Fig. 9), Hasanlangi and Minab River drainages flowing to the Persian Gulf at the Strait of Hormuz (Fig. 1).
Etymology: The species is named for Persia, the ancient name of Iran.
Hamid Reza Esmaeili, Golnaz Sayyadzadeh and Ole Seehausen. 2016. Iranocichla persa, A New Cichlid Species from southern Iran (Teleostei, Cichlidae).ZooKeys. 636: 141-161. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.636.10571