New Garra discovered in Oman


Scientists have described a new species of algae-grazing cyprinid from southern Oman.

The new loach-like species has been named Garra smartae and is one of only 16 freshwater fish known from the Arabian Peninsula.

It was discovered in Wadi Hasik in Oman's Dhofar Province and was described from a collection of 11 specimens ranging in length from 2.4-4.9cm.

Garra smarti is, like most Garra species, a mottled brown colour with irregularly colored scales and an underslung mouth.

Friedhelm Krupp and Kevin Budd who described the species in the journal Aqua, said that the new fish differs from other Arabian Garra in having: "acutely pointed snout tip; anus immediately in front of anal-fin origin; 3 unbranched and 7 branched dorsal-fin rays; 34 or 35 pored scales in the lateral line, 14-16 circumpedunclar scale rows; 13-15 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch; mental disc small, usually longer than wide."

The fish was named after Emma Smart, a PhD student and member of the Emirates Wildlife Society.

For more information see: Friedhelm Krupp and Kevin Budd (2009) - A new species of the genus Garra (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from Oman, pp. 117-120