Scientists have split the Gudgeon, Gobio gobio, into two species, after comparing the morphology and genetics of what was previously believed to be a single widespread species.
The new species of cyprinid fish, Gobio kubanicus, has just been described by a team of taxonomists from Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences, who have reported their findings in the Journal of Ichthyology.
Gobio kubanicus, has longer barbels than the true Gudgeon, Gobio gobio, and some individuals have distinctive scales on the throat which are absent in G. gobio.
Some aspects of the morphology, particularly the skull, also differ between the two, as do chromosome patterns in the new species.
The scientists now believe that the true Gudgeon is restricted to a smaller area than previously believed. This is thought to extend from Great Britain, southern
Sweden, the basins of the North, Baltic and White seas to the Volga.
The new species gets its name from its locality - the Kuban River basin.
For more details see the paper: E. D. Vasil'eva1, V. P. Vasil'ev, and T. I. Kuga1 (2004) - On Taxonomy of Gudgeons of the Genus Gobio (Gobioninae, Cyprinidae) of Europe: A New Gudgeon Species
Gobio kubanicus from the Basin of the Kuban River. Journal of Ichthyology, 9. 716.