Cobitis joergbohleni

Freyhof, Jörg, Bayçelebi, Esra & Geiger, Matthias, 2018, Review of the genus Cobitis in the Middle East, with the description of eight new species (Teleostei: Cobitidae), Zootaxa 4535 (1), pp. 1-75: 58-61

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Cobitis joergbohleni

new species

Cobitis joergbohleni  , new species

( Fig. 45–47View FIGURE 45View FIGURE 46View FIGURE 47)

Holotype. ZFMK ICH-97624, 60 mm SL; Turkey: Kayseri prov.: spring Soysallı, about 1 km north of Soysallı , 38.390 35.365. 

Paratypes. FSJF 2602, 1, 70 mm SL; same data as holotype  .— FSJF 4050, 6, 39–54 mm SL; Turkey: Kayseri prov.: Canal about 1 km from the village Ovaçiftlik in direction to Yahyalı ..  FSJF 4051, 1, 47 mm SL; Turkey: Kayseri prov.: Sultan marshes  .

Material used in molecular genetic analysis. FSJF DNA- 965; Turkey: Kayseri prov.: spring Soysallı about 1 km north of Soysallı, 38.390 35.365. (GenBank accession number: KJ 552357View Materials).

Diagnosis. Cobiti s joergbohleni  is distinguished from other Cobitis  species in the Mediterranean and the endorheic basins in Central Anatolia by a combination of characters, none of them unique. It is similar to C. turcica  and some individuals and populations of C. phrygica  by having a flank pattern of many small blotches not organised in the Gambetta zones (vs. organised in Gambetta zones in C. aliyeae  , C. anabelae  , C. battalgilae  , C. bilseli  , C. erkakanae  , C. evreni  , C. levantina  , C. simplicispina  , C. sipahilerae  and some individuals of C. phrygica  , often Z4 dissociated into a wide band or field of small blotches and spots in C. battalgilae  , C. dorademiri  and C. phrygica  ). Cobitis joergbohleni  is distinguished from C. turcica  by having a slightly rounded caudal fin (vs. truncate), a greater prepelvic (58–59% SL vs. 53–56) and preanal distance (81–82% SL vs. 75–78) in the female. All individuals of C. joergbohleni  available have a simple external part of the suborbital spine (vs. bifurcate in most, but not all C. turcica  ).

Cobitis joergbohleni  is further distinguished from C. erkakanae  by having 5–8 dark-brown blotches between the nape and the dorsal fin-origin (vs. 3–5) and a very short mental lobe, not reaching beyond the lower lip (vs. long, reaching to or beyond the lower lip) and a simple external part of the suborbital spine (vs. always bifurcate). Cobiti s joergbohleni  is further distinguished from C. battalgilae  by having a simple external part of the suborbital spine (vs. bifurcate), a greater prepelvic distance (58–59% SL vs. 54–55), a greater preanal distance in the female (81–82% SL vs. 74–80), a shorter caudal-peduncle length in the female (13–14% SL vs. 15–16) and from C. erkakanae  by having a greater preanal distance in the female (81–82% SL vs. 82–85) and a smaller pelvic fin length (9–11% SL vs. 12–14) and from C. phrygica  by having a deeper body in the female (16–17% SL vs. 13–15) and a greater interorbital width in the female (12–15% HL vs. 10–12) and from C. simplicispina  by having a smaller predorsal distance (54% SL vs. 55–58) and a greater interorbital width in the female (12–15% HL vs. 7– 12). Cobitis joergbohleni  is further distinguished from C. evreni  and C. phrygica  by having a small black spot at the uppermost caudal-fin base (vs. absent). It is further distinguished from C. sipahilerae  by having 5–8 dark-brown, large and roundish blotches on the back anterior to the dorsal-fin origin (vs. back plain cream-brown, except few individuals with 1–3 narrow, squarish, brown bars). Cobitis joergbohleni  is further distinguished from C. dorademiri  by having a narrower caudal peduncle (caudal-peduncle depth 0.7–0.8 times in caudal-peduncle length vs. 0.9–1.0).

Description. See Figures 45–47View FIGURE 45View FIGURE 46View FIGURE 47 for general appearance and Table 7 for morphometric data of the holotype and one paratype. Greatest body depth at or slightly anterior to dorsal-fin origin, decreasing towards caudal-fin base. Head profile slightly convex, head length 1.2 times in body depth. Snout pointed its length 0.7 times in postorbital length. Eye diameter 0.3–0.4 times in head depth at eye, 1.1–1.5 times in interorbital width. Caudal peduncle 1.3– 1.4 times longer than deep.

No pelvic axillary lobe. Margin of dorsal and anal fins convex. Caudal fin slightly rounded. Very shallow ventral keel on caudal peduncle in one individual, absent in the other individual. External part of the suborbital spine simple, reaching slightly to or beyond centre of eye. Largest recorded specimen 70 mm SL.

Dorsal fin with 3 unbranched and 7½ (2) branched rays. Anal-fin with 3 unbranched and 5½ (2) branched rays. Caudal fin with 7+7 branched rays in the female. Pectoral fin with 8 (2) and pelvic fin with 5 (2) branched rays. Body completely covered by embedded scales, except on predorsal midline and on belly and breast. Scales small. Focal zone in subdorsal scales about 1/4 or less of vertical scale diameter. Lateral line absent in one individual, present with two pores in the other individual. Lips ( Fig. 54View FIGURE 54) thin and mental lobes of lower lip short, mental lobe poorly distinguished from lower lip. Rostral barbel reaching base of mandibular barbel. Mandibular barbel reaching to or slightly beyond vertical of nostril. Maxillary barbel reaching vertical of front border or middle of eye.

Sexual dimorphism. Male have a longer pectoral fin than female and two laminae circularis (vs. absent).

Colouration. Background colour yellowish with a dark-brown pigmentation pattern organised in one mid- dorsal row of blotches and many small spots, small irregularly-shaped blotches and short vermiculation on flank, not organised in pigmentation zones. Preserved individuals show a bold midlateral inner axial stripe. Mid-dorsal pigmentation consisting 5-8 predorsal blotches and 5-7 blotches behind the dorsal fin base. A single, very indistinct, less than eye size, black spot at upper caudal-fin base. Upper part of head, opercle and snout covered by small spots and short vermiculation. No dark-brown stripe between eye and snout. Fins hyaline. Caudal fin with 6– 8 and dorsal fin with 6 dark-brown, sometimes irregular shaped bars. Few dark-brown spots in paired fins. Barbels whitish.

Etymology. Named for Jörg Bohlen (Libechov) who dedicated his scientific life to the research on various aspects of the diversity, phylogeny and biology of loaches, especially of the genus Cobitis  . A noun in genitive, indeclinable.

Distribution. Cobitis joergbohleni  has only been found in the Sultan Sazlığı marshes in the Develi depression.

Remarks. All except one individuals of C. joergbohleni  examined are characterised by having the pigmentation pattern on the flank dissociated into small blotches and vermiculation not following the patterns of the Gambeta zones. In one individual (FSJF 4051), this is not the case and there are lines of distinct small blotches along Z2 and Z4. We cannot exclude, that C. joergbohleni  might be more variable in colour pattern and more individuals need to be studied in the future. Cobitis joergbohleni  is one out of five species of freshwater fish native to the Sultan Sazlığı marshes. The other species are Aphanius  danfordii, Pseudophoxinus  elizavetae, Oxynoemacheilus  ciceki and Seminemacheilus  ahmeti. All five native species are endemic to this small drainage system. Similar to the Kırkgöz-Yediarıklar drainage system mentioned above, the occurrence of five endemic fish species (100% of the native species occurring there) makes the Sultan Sazlığı marshes a site of major importance for conservation. This is the second of such small spring systems in Anatolia which is massively threatened by water abstraction.

Molecular data ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1) place C. joergbohleni  in the C. simplicispina  species group ( C. battalgilae  , C. bilseli  , C. dorademiri  , C. phrygica  , C. pirii  , C. simplicispina  , C. sipahilerae  , and C. turcica  ). Based on DNA barcoding C. joergbohleni  is well separated from all other included Cobitis  , and by a minimum K2P distance of 4.5% to C. bilseli  . It is also supported by the PTP and mPTP approach as distinct entity.


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig