Sasanidus, new genus, is described for Noemacheilus kermanshahensis Bănărescu & Nalbant, endemic to the Karkheh and Karun drainages in Iran. Sasanidus kermanshahensis was initially identified as a species in Oxynoemacheilus, from which it is distinguished by the absence of an external sexual dimorphism (i.e. longer pectoral fin, and nuptial tubercles on fins, head and back in males). Sasanidus is distinguished from all other genera of Nemacheilidae in the Middle East by a combination of the following character states: pelvic-fin origin behind of a vertical of the dorsal-fin origin, anus about one eye diameter in front of the anal-fin origin, dorsal adipose keel absent, a high crest on the bony capsule of the swim bladder present and colour pattern marbled or mottled or with an irregularly shaped midlateral stripe. Ilamnemacheilus longipinnis was examined and no difference could be found between Ilamnemacheilus and Oxynoemacheilus. Therefore, Ilamnemacheilus is treated as a synonym of Oxynoemacheilus. COI barcode sequences from all nemacheilid loach genera occurring in the Middle East and western India are analysed jointly for the first time. The view that Schistura is a paraphyletic assemblage is supported by the clustering of DNA sequences from 45 specimens placed in at least 20 species in the genus Schistura analysed here.
Keywords: freshwater fish, Middle East, new genus, DNA barcoding
|FIGURE 2. Sasanidus kermanshahensis, about 45 mm SL, not preserved; Iran: Haram-Abad stream. |
|FIGURE 3. Sasanidus kermanshahensis, Iran: a, FCKG 806, 70 mm SL; stream Ab-alashtar. Black spots are parasites; b, FCKG 800, 42 mm SL; spring Pashow; c, FCKG 804, 70 mm SL; Gamasiab River at Baba-Rostam. |
Etymology. The genus is named for the Sassanid Empire, which was recognized as one of the leading regional powers for a period of more than 400 years. During Late Antiquity, the Sasanian Empire is considered to have been one of Iran's most important and influential historical periods. Gender masculine.
Distribution. Sasanidus kermanshahensis is known from headwaters of the Karkheh and Dez Rivers. The Dez is a tributary to the Karun and both the Karkheh and Karun flowi from the Iranian Zagros Mountains westwards into the lowermost Tigris (Abdoli 2000).
Jörg Freyhof, Matthias F. Geiger, Kiavash Golzarianpour and Rahman Patimar. 2016. Sasanidus, A New Generic Name for Noemacheilus kermanshahensis Bănărescu & Nalbant, with discussion of Ilamnemacheilus and Schistura (Teleostei; Nemacheilidae). Zootaxa. 4107(1): 65–80. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4107.1.3