New Crystallaria darter described

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Scientists have described a new species of darter in a recent issue of the journal Zootaxa.

Stuart Welsh and Robert Wood have named the new species the Diamond Darter, Crystallaria cincotta, from the Cumberland, Elk, Green, and Muskingum river drainages of the Ohio River basin in the United States.

The new species differs from the only other member of the genus, the Crystal Darter Crystallaria asprella in having a combination of the following characters: a larger gape width approximately equal to or exceeding the inter-pelvic fin base width, a preorbital blotch distinctly separate from the anterior orbital rim, pelvic fins distinctly falcate in both sexes, reduced cheek scale rows (modally 2), reduced opercle scale rows (modally 2), a high number of mid-lateral blotches (modally 13), a low number of anal-fin rays (modally 13), a low number of dorsal-fin spines (modally 12), and a high number of scales below the lateral line (modally 11).

According to the authors, C. cincotta additionally differs from the Gulf, lower Mississippi, and upper Mississippi populations of C. asprella ...by cytochrome b sequence divergence (11.31, 11.95, and 11.84%...), and net nucleotide divergences of the mitochondrial control region (4.97, 5.25, and 4.39%) and the nuclear S7 intron (2.25, 2.03, and 2.04%...).

The new species is named after Daniel A. Cincotta, fishery biologist for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and adjunct professor of ichthyology, West Virginia University, in recognition of his work on West Virginia fishes.

For more information, see the paper: Welsh, SA and RM Wood (2008) Crystallaria cincotta, a new species of darter (Teleostei: Percidae) from the Elk River of the Ohio River drainage, West Virginia. Zootaxa 1680, pp. 62"68.