Cobitis levantina Krupp & Moubayed, 1992

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: 23-24

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Cobitis levantina Krupp & Moubayed, 1992


Cobitis levantina Krupp & Moubayed, 1992 

( Fig. 16–17View FIGURE 16View FIGURE 17)

Cobitis levantina Krupp & Moubayed, 1992: 14  , figs. 1–2 (type locality: Syria: outflow of Buhairat Hims near Qattina, 34.666 36.616).

Material examined. FSJF 2747, 6, 45–82 mm SL; Syria: Nahr al Barid at Nahr al Barid, 35.302 36.345.

Material used in molecular genetic analysis. FSJF DNA- 1214; Syria: River Orontes at Al Ghassaniyya, 34.594 36.530. (GenBank accession numbers: KJ 553104View Materials, KJ 553147View Materials).

Diagnosis. Cobiti s levantina  is distinguished from other Cobitis  species in the Asian Mediterranean Sea basin by a combination of characters, none of them unique. It is distinguished from C. evreni  by having a black spot at the upper caudal-fin base (vs. lacking) and Z4 usually formed by a series of distinct blotches (vs. a dark-brown stripe reaching from above pectoral-fin base until anus or beyond). Some individuals of C. levantina  have the blotches along Z4 partly of completely fused into a stripe.

It is distinguished from C. battalgilae  by having a single row of blotches in Z4, blotches roundish, horizontally elongate or squarish anterior to the dorsal-fin origin, fused into a stripe in few individuals, not dissociated into a band of small spots or small blotches (vs. blotches in Z4 usually vertically elongate or squarish, often dissociated into a band of small irregularly-shaped blotches and spots) and no axially pelvic lobe or pad (vs. present at least in some individuals). In many C. battalgilae  , the pigmentation in Z4 is not dissociated. Cobiti s levantina  is distinguished from these individuals of C. battalgilae  by having relatively large, irregularly-shaped blotches in Z3, often forming one marbled pattern with pigmentation in Z1 and Z2 (vs. a sand-like pattern of very fine spots and minute blotches in Z3, well distinguished from pigmentation in Z1 and Z2).

Cobitis levantina  is distinguished from C. bilseli  from the Lake Beyşehir basin by having two laminae circularis in the male (vs. one).

Cobitis levantina  is distinguished from C. elazigensis  by lacking a pelvic axillary lobe (vs. present) and by the pigmentation in Z3 present at least until the vertical of the dorsal-fin base (vs. Z3 unpigmented or pigmentation reaching from vertical of nape to vertical of pectoral-fin tip).

Distribution. Cobitis levantina  is found in the upper Orontes River drainage in Syria and in the Litani River drainage in Lebanon ( Krupp & Moubayed 1992).

Remarks. Figure 16View FIGURE 16 (Orontes in Syria, close to the type locality) and Fig. 17View FIGURE 17 (Litani in Lebanon) show fishes with a quite different colour pattern. Already Krupp & Moubayed (1992) examined both populations and show a drawing of a Cobitis  from the Litani, which agrees well with the one shown on Figure 17View FIGURE 17. We cannot exclude that two species are involved, but we had no materials to test whether the Cobitis  from the Litani in Lebanon is indeed conspecific with C. levantina  . The description by Krupp & Moubayed (1992) include a drawing from a picture of the holotype showing an individual lacking the pigmentation in Z3. In all our materials of C. levantina  , the pigmentation in Z3 is only absent in few juvenile, while the holotype of C. levantina  is adult (74 mm SL). Individuals lacking the pigmentation in Z3 occur also in other Cobitis  species and we might just have not examined enough specimens to find such individuals.

Molecular data ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1) place Cobitis levantina  in the C. linea  species group ( C. linea  , C. aliyeae  , C. anabelae  , C. elazigensis  , and C. erkakanae  ). Based on DNA barcoding it is well separated from all other included Cobitis  and by a minimum K2P distance of 5.3% to C. elazigensis  , also supported as two PTP entities.

See below for details to distinguish C. levantina  from other species in the C. linea  species group and from other Cobitis  species found in the Asian Mediterranean Sea basin.














Cobitis levantina Krupp & Moubayed, 1992

Freyhof, Jörg, Bayçelebi, Esra & Geiger, Matthias 2018


Cobitis levantina

Krupp, F. & Moubayed, J. 1992: 14