Cobitis loach described from Croatia

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A new species of spined loach has been described from Croatia.

Jrg Freyhof and Bjrn Stelbrink of the Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin named the new loach Cobitis illyrica in a paper in the latest issue of the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

The new species is apparently endemic to a small lake in the Lake Proloac catchment, and can be distinguished from other members of the genus in the northern Adriatic basin by a slender caudal peduncle, a single indistinct black spot or no black spot at the upper part of the caudal-fin base, lateral pigmentation zone Z1 and Z3 with few small spots, zones Z1"Z3 confluent in some males (the colour pattern zones Z1"Z4 are known as the Gambetta zones and are a system of describing the colour pattern in Cobitis loaches).

Cobitis illyrica is named for the Roman province of Illyricum, on which the type locality is situated.

For more information, see the paper: Freyhof, J & B Stelbrink (2007) Cobitis illyrica, a new species of loach from Croatia (Teleostei: Cobitidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 18, pp. 269"275.