Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 97, Issue 10, pp 1179–1195 | Cite as

A new genus and species of cyprinid fish (Actinopterygii, Cyprinidae) from the Arabian Peninsula, and its phylogenetic and zoogeographic affinities

  • Kai Borkenhagen


Arabibarbus hadhrami, a new species of cyprinid fish from the Hadhramaut Province of Yemen, is described. It has modally 30 scales (29–32) in the lateral line, the wedge-shaped head is longer (27.8–32.5 % SL) and higher (15.5–18.4 % SL) than in its congeners. The body is slender and laterally flattened. The dorsal fin is high (26.5–32.4 % SL) and well ossified. The pectoral fins (19.9–23.9 % SL) and pelvic fins (16.8–19.8 % SL) are longer than in its congeners. Two closely related species, Arabibarbus arabicus and Arabibarbus grypus are re-described and compared to the new species. Based on morphological and molecular characters the new genus Arabibarbus is erected for these three species. It is characterised by medium to large body size, an ossified, smooth principal dorsal fin ray, eight branched dorsal and five branched anal fin rays, large shield-shaped scales with numerous parallel radii, a lateral line with 29 to 44 scales, pharyngeal teeth that are hooked at their tips, their count being 2.3.5–5.3.2 and the possession of two pairs of barbels. Arabibarbus hadhrami is the type species of the new genus. The phylogenetic position of the new genus is analysed, based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. It is the sister taxon to the genus Carasobarbus Karaman, 1971 and closely related to Mesopotamichthys Karaman, 1971, Pterocapoeta Günther, 1902 and ‘Barbusreinii Günther, 1874. Arabibarbus probably colonised the Arabian Peninsula about 4 Ma ago, coming from the Tigris-Euphrates drainage in the East via Wādī ar Rimah/Wādī al Bāţin.


Cyprinidae Barbinae Southern Arabia Arabibarbus hadhrami Cytochrome b 



I am grateful to James Maclaine, Oliver Crimmen, Patrick Campbell (BMNH); Hamid Reza Esmaeili (CBSU); Guy Duhamel, Romain Causse, Patrice Pruvost, Claude Ferrara, Zora Gabsi (MNHN); Ernst Mikschi, Helmut Wellendorf, Christa Prenner, Matthias Reithofer (NMW) and Hort Zetzsche (SMF) for making the collections under their care available for study. I thank Hamid Reza Esmaeili, Friedhelm Krupp, Masoumeh Malek, Alireza Sari and Adwan Shehab for help with organising fieldwork in Iran and Syria and Nisreen Alwan, Mehrgan Ebrahimi, Hamid Reza Esmaeili, Christiane Frosch, Mehdi Ghanbari-Fardi, Zeinab Gholami, Abbas Kazemi, Masoumeh Malek, Majid Moradmand, Hossein Parsa, Sobhan Rahimi, Hassan Rahimian, Bettina Reichenbacher, Hassan Salehi, Azad Teimori and Florian Wicker for their help and company during fieldwork. Amer Al-Shamma’a collected, Nashat Hamidan shipped and Florian Wicker sequenced the samples of M. sharpeyi. Heike Kappes and Barbara Herte helped with the laboratory experiments. Tilman Alpermann, Jörg Freyhof, Friedhelm Krupp and Florian Wicker offered valuable comments on the manuscript and Eva Feltkamp prepared the maps.

Fieldwork in Iran and Syria was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), in the framework of the project “Establishment of a Middle Eastern Biodiversity Network”. This research received support from the SYNTHESYS Project, which is financed by European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP6 “Structuring the European Research Area” Programme (grants AT-2427 and FR-3580). The FAZIT foundation funded research at the BMNH. The study was supported by the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Frankfurt, which is part of research funding programme “LOEWE”.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Senckenberg Research Institute and Museum of NatureFrankfurt am MainGermany
  2. 2.Research and Technology Centre (FTZ)University of KielBüsumGermany

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