Garra turcica,

Bayçelebi, Esra, Kaya, Cüneyt, Turan, Davut, Ergüden, Sibel Alagöz & Freyhof, Jörg, 2018, Redescription of Garra turcica from southern Anatolia (Teleostei: Cyprinidae), Zootaxa 4524 (2), pp. 227-236: 230-235

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Garra turcica


Garra turcica  Karaman, 1971

(Figs. 2–6)

Material examined. All from Turkey. ZMH H1687View Materials, type, 1, 94 mm SL; Ceyhan   .— FSJF 2348, 18, 64–96 mm SL; Adana prov.: stream Çakıtsuyu, south of Salbaş, lower Pozantı River , 37.096N 35.117EGoogleMaps  .— FSJF 2388, 3, 62–68 mm SL; Adana prov.: stream Körkün at Karakuyu , 37.153N 35.161EGoogleMaps  .— FSJF 2452, 13, 49–99 mm SL; Hatay prov.: stream Haçahmetli east of Arsuz , 36.399N 35.886EGoogleMaps  .— FSJF 2853, 10, 60–96 mm SL; Osmaniye prov.: stream Savrun at Kadirli , 37.373N 36.093EGoogleMaps  .— FSJF 2898, 3, 71–103 mm SL; Kahramanmaraş prov.: stream Söğütlü about 40 km east of Elbistan , 38.255N 37.533EGoogleMaps  .— FFR 1267, 4, 58–91 mm SL; Adana prov.: stream Körkün at Hacılı , 37.294N 35.155EGoogleMaps  .— FFR 1320, 4, 58–115 mm SL; Adana prov.: stream Karasu   .— FFR 4009, 4, 74–92 mm SL; Adana prov.: stream Üçürgesuyu, about 1 km west of Karaisalı , 37.261N 35.067EGoogleMaps  .— FFR 4000, 34, 67–97 mm SL; Kahramanmaraş prov.: stream Aksu about 4 km north-east of Şerefli , 37.490N 36.895EGoogleMaps  .— FFR 4004, 33, 32–86 mm SL; Osmaniye prov.: stream Akçasu about 5 km north Kalecik, 37.174N 36.506EGoogleMaps  .— FFR 4008, 34, 52–110 mm SL; Kahramanmaraş prov.: stream Aksu about 7 km north Pazarcık, 37.539N 37.348EGoogleMaps  .— FFR 4009, 13, 58–90 mm SL; Adana prov.: stream Üçürgesuyu at Çakallı , 37.189N 35.101EGoogleMaps  .— FFR 4025, 11, 75– 84 mm SL; Hatay prov.: stream Haçahmetli east of Arsuz , 36.382N 35.909EGoogleMaps  .— IUSHM 2018-1401, 3, 62–71 mm SL; Adana prov.: Seyhan River at Karaisalı , 37.062N 35.067EGoogleMaps  .— IUSHM 2018-1402, 1, 69 mm SL; Adana prov.: Ceyhan River at İnceyer , 37.176N 35.865EGoogleMaps  .

FİGURE 2. Garra turcica  , type, ZMH H1687, 94 mm SL; Turkey: Ceyhan River.

FİGURE 3. Garra turcica  , from the top: FSJF 2898, 103 mm SL; Turkey: stream Söğütlü; FSJF 2452, 95 mm SL; Turkey: stream Haçahmetli; FSJF 2348, 90 mm SL; Turkey: stream Çatkıtsuyu.

Material used in the molecular genetic analysis: FSJF DNA-396; Hatay prov.: stream Arsuz east of Arsuz , 36.399N 35.886E. (GenBank accession number: KM 214696View Materials)GoogleMaps  .— FSJF DNA-2521; Adana prov.: Seyhan River at Karaisalı , 37.062N 35.067E. (GenBank accession numbers: MH716238, MH716239)GoogleMaps  .— FSJF DNA-2522; Adana prov.: Ceyhan River at İnceyer , 37.176N 35.865E. (GenBank accession number: MH 716240View Materials)GoogleMaps  .— FSJF DNA-2551; Adana prov.: stream Çakıt, south of Salbaş, the lower part of the stream Pozantı , 37.096N 35.117E. (GenBank accession numbers: MH716241, MH716242, MH716243)GoogleMaps  .

Diagnosis. Garra turcica  is distinguished from G. rufa  by having a blunt snout (vs. slightly pointed) and a more slender body (body depth at dorsal-fin origin 18–21% of SL vs. 21–24%). It is also distinguished by having 19 fixed diagnostic nucleotide substitutions in the mitochondrial COI barcode region.

FİGURE 4. Garra turcica  , FFR 4000, 93 mm SL; Turkey: stream Aksu.

FİGURE 5. Garra turcica  , FFR 4000, 93 mm SL; Turkey: stream Aksu.

Description. For general appearance see Figs. 2–4 and Table 2 for morphometric data. Body elongated, moderately compressed laterally, more compressed at caudal peduncle. Dorsal head profile rising gently, flat or slightly convex, more or less continuous with dorsal body profile to nape or about middle between nape and dorsalfin origin, almost straight until dorsal-fin origin. Ventral profile more or less straight from head to anal-fin origin. Head moderately large, depressed, with slightly convex or flat interorbital distance, its depth at nape less than head length, its width at nape greater than its depth. Snout blunt, with transverse lobe, with numerous small- or mediumsized tubercles. Tubercles absent in many individuals but if present, very variable in size. Proboscis covered with small or medium sized tubercles, or often without tubercles. Proboscis not or only slightly elevated from depressed rostral surface. Lateral surface of snout covered by small to medium-sized tubercles reaching to anterior eye margin. Eye placed dorso-laterally in posterior half of head. Barbels in two pairs; rostral barbel antero-laterally located, shorter than eye diameter; maxillary barbel at corner of mouth, shorter than rostral barbel. Rostral cap weakly developed, fimbriate at margin, papillate on ventral surface. Its length 8–13% (mean 11%) of lateral HL, rarely up to 50% eye diameter. Upper jaw almost covered by rostral cap. Mental disc elliptical, shorter than wide and narrower than head width through base of maxillary barbel.

Dorsal fin with 3 simple and 8½ (20) branched rays, last simple ray slightly shorter than head length; distal margin concave; origin closer to snout tip than to caudal-fin base; inserted anterior to vertical of pelvic-fin origin; first or second branched rays longest, tip of last branched ray reaching vertical through anus or behind. Pectoral fin with 1 simple and 12 (2), 13 (3), 14 (9) and 15 (6) branched rays, reaching to a point 2–5 scales anterior to pelvicfin origin, length almost equal to or greater than head length. Pelvic fin with 1 simple and 7 (2) and 8 (18) branched rays, reaching to, or slightly beyond anus, not reaching anal-fin origin, origin closer to anal-fin origin than to pectoral-fin origin. Pelvic-fin origin below third or fourth branched dorsal-fin ray. Anal fin short, with 3 simple and 5½ (20) branched rays; first branched ray longest, reaching to dark grey or black blotch on posterior caudal peduncle or slightly anterior to it; distal margin concave; origin closer to caudal-fin base than to pelvic-fin origin. Anus 3–4 scales in front of anal-fin origin. Caudal fin forked; tip of lobes pointed.

A total of 14–24 gill rakers on lower limb of first branchial arch including the one on the angle. Lateral line complete, with 32 (2), 33 (2), 35 (3), 36 (9) and 37 (4) scales on body. Transverse scale rows above lateral line 4½ (18) and 5½ (2); between lateral line and pelvic-fin origin 3½ (19) and 4½ (1) and between lateral line and anal-fin origin 3½ (3) and 4½ (17). Circumpeduncular scale rows 13 (5), 14 (4), 15 (4), 16 (5) and 17 (2). Predorsal scales 11 (3), 12 (5), 13 (7), 14 (2) and 15 (3); scales regularly arranged, same size as flank scales. Chest and belly scaled, scales deeply embedded on chest, about as large as scales on belly. One long axillary scale at base of pelvic fin, and 5–8, usually 5, scales between the posteriormost pelvic-fin base and the anus.

Colouration. In ethanol: Head, back and flank dark- or pale-brown or dark-grey. Single or groups of dark brown scales on flank. Mouth, chest and abdomen yellowish white. A large, roundish or oblong, black blotch at posteriormost caudal peduncle, distinct in juveniles, slightly faded in adults. A black blotch at anteriormost lateral line. Lateral line pores cream whitish. Dorsal fin grey or hyaline. Base of last 3–7 branched dorsal-fin rays with a black spot. Caudal fin grey or hyaline; 1–2 rays above and 2–4 rays below fork dusty grey or black except on some individuals. Anal, pelvic and pectoral fins light grey or hyaline. An irregularly shaped black caudal-fin margin in some individuals.

In life: Fins orange, yellow, pink, brown or hyaline. Single or groups of dark brown scales on flank. Head yellowish brown or grey. Flank scales silvery, yellowish or dark-brown; whitish on ventral flank and belly. Some populations almost completely grey or silvery. Iris orange or dark yellowish. A blue dot at anterior most lateral line reaching down to upper pectoral-fin base in some individuals.

Distribution. Garra turcica  is found in the rivers Kızıl (Mersin), Seyhan, Ceyhan and the small coastal streams south of the Ceyhan until Arsuz.

Remarks. While G. turcica  is distinguished from G. rufa  in having a more slender body and a shorter rostral cap, there is considerable overlap in these two characters between the species. Even the holotype of G. turcica  (ZMH H1687) has a relatively short head (length of rostral cap 16% of HL), which might be due to compression from standing on the snout in its jar for more than 50 years. Garra turcica  is distinguished from G. mondica  by having the predorsal back covered by scales (vs. having a scaleless midline on the back) and from G. amirhosseini  by the scales on the chest being about as large as on the belly behind the chest (vs. much smaller) and having 8½ branched dorsal-fin rays (vs. usually 7½, rarely 8½). It is distinguished from G. elegans  by having a free lateral and posterior margin of the mental lobe (vs. fused with tissue of head). Garra turcica  is further distinguished from these species by a minimum K2P distance of 2.2% in its COI barcode region. Garra turcica  is distinguished from G. widdowsoni  by having fully developed eyes and a brown or grey background colour. Garra widdowsoni  is a subterranean species lacking eyes and pigmentation.

FİGURE 6. Garra turcica  , FFR 4000, a, 86 mm SL; b, 84 mm SL; Turkey: stream Aksu; Garra rufa  , FFR 1327, c, 96 mm SL; d, 86 mm SL; Turkey: stream Divriğ.

The distribution of G. turcica  , G. mondica  , G. amirhosseini  , G. widdowsoni  and G. elegans  within or just adjacent of the range of G. rufa  is an interesting biogeographic puzzle and we would not be surprised if G. rufa  has

expanded its range to the cost of the other species in the last ca million years, leading to the “relict” ranges observed in these species.


Zoologisches Museum Hamburg


Kotel'nich Museum


Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel