New species of roach found

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A new species of roach has been described from western Greece.

Bogutskaya and Iliadou described the new species as Rutilus panosi in a paper in Zoosystematica Rossica, after finding it in the Acheloos River drainage in western Greece.

The find brings the total number of valid species in the roach genus Rutilus to around 17.

Rutilus panosi can be told apart from the other cyprinid species by a combination of characters which include the presence of 41-44 lateral line scales; 12-14 gill rakers; 9.5 branched anal and dorsal rays; a pointed, triangular snout and the absence of a lateral stripe.

Only one species of roach, Rutilus rutilus, is found in the UK, but elsewhere in Europe there are many species in freshwaters, as well as a number of subspecies of Rutilus rutilus.

In the past, taxonomists had split up the Rutilus genus on the basis of very small differences and there were once dozens of species and subspecies.

Now, Rutilus rutilus contains just six subspecies: Rutilus rutilus caspicus, Rutilus rutilus heckeli, Rutilus rutilus fluviatilis, Rutilus rutilus aralensis, Rutilus rutilus schelkovnikovi and Rutilus rutilus uzboicus.

Other members of the genus include R. arcasii, R. atropatenus, R. aula, R. frisii, R. basak, R. karamani, R. lemmingii, R. lusitanicus, R. meidingerii, R. ohridanus, R. pigus, R. prespensis, R. rubilio, R. sojuchbulagi and R. ylikiensis.

For more details see the paper: Bogutskaya NG and K Iliadou (2006) - Rutilus panosi, a new roach from Western Greece (Teleostei: Cyprinidae). Zoosystematica Rossica, 14(2), 2006: 293-298.