Garra lorestanensis

Mousavi-Sabet and Eagderi 2016

Garra lorestanensis
The different sympatric mental disc forms in Garra lorestanensis (L), G. typhlops (R) and a presumed hybrid (centre). Photograph extracted from Figure 2 in Hashemzadeh Segherloo et al. (2018) and used under a Creative Commons 4 International License


Iranocypris typhlops  Bruun and Kaiser 1944 (in part)

Garra typhlops  (Bruun and Kaiser 1944) (in part)




Holotype: VMFC GL-H 55.0mm SL. Paratypes: VMFC GL-P1 – P3 (3) 27.2mm-58.0mm SL, GUIC GL-P1 31.6mm SL, GUIC GL-P2 45.1mm SL.


Type locality: Loven Cave, Tigris River drainage, Persian Gulf basin, Lorestan Province, Iran. 33°04'39"N, 48°35'33"E. Known also from Tuveh Spring in the Dez River drainage 31km from the type locality.


The true habitat of this species is not known. The collection site is the flood overflow for a large resurgence. The resurgence was explored by diving (Farr 1977, 1984:117) but the way on underwater became too narrow at 2m depth. The flood overflow was also dived but without conclusion. Another sump is located in the same area but was not examined (Farr 1977).


It has been known since 2008 (Sargeran et al. 2008) that some of the fishes at the type locailty have a mental disk while others do not (Figure a, below). Hashemzadeh Segherloo et al. (2012) used cytochrome c oxidase I (coI ) sequences for the two morphological forms. They concluded that "Pronounced coI sequence divergence between the two forms of I. typhlops (3·8% K2P distance) was observed. This sequence divergence is higher than the mean intraspecific divergence values reported in other taxa, e.g.0·46% in Lepidoptera, 0·60% in Guyanese bats, 0·27% in North American birds, 0·39% in marine fishes and 0·27% K2P distance in freshwater fishes. The high sequence divergence between the two forms, along with the morphological differences, including the presence of a mental disc, the longer intestine, and either a single chambered or bipartite swimbladder in the specimens with disc, v. the absence of the mental disc, shorter intestine and bipartite swimbladder in the second form, as reported by Sargeran et al. (2008), indicate that the two forms might represent separate species" (Hashemzadeh Segherloo et al. 2012). But they did not go so far as to state that two species were actually present nor to describe the second one. They also showed that the two cave forms are close to Garra rufa.

Farashi et al (2014), still assuming that the two forms were the same species (Iranocypris typhlops), used mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences and concluded that the species was close to the genus Garra and recommended that Iranaocypris typhlops should be transferred to the genus Garra Hamilton, 1822.

It was not until 2016 (Mousavi-Sabet and Eagderi 2016) that the second and most recently discovered form (the form with a mental disc) was described as a separate species to Garra typhlops. It was named Garra lorestanensis.

Most recently Hashemzadeh Segherloo et al. (2018), using a mixture of molecular markers, showed that G. typhlops and G. lorestanensis were sister species and that both were sister to the geographically close Garra gymnothorax. The evidence suggets that the two cave species evolved by sympatric speciation. A mitochondria divergence of 3.6% between the two cave species suggest a divergence time of 5-6 million years.

Jalili and Eagderi (2014) examined the osteology of what they called Iranocypris typhlops (now Garra typhlops). However, the three specimens used in their study each had a mental disk so were, in fact, Garra lorestanensis.

Conservation Status


Museum Holdings

As above only.

Key References

Mahjoorazad, A and Coad, BW Journal Article 2009 A new cave fish locality for Iran
Hashemzadeh Segherloo, I, Bernatchez, L, Golzarianpour, K., Abdoli, A, Primmer, C. R. and Bakhtiary, M. Journal Article 2012 Genetic differentiation between two sympatric morphs of the blind Iranian cave barb Iranocypris typhlops
Esmaeilzadegan, E. Thesis 2013 Comparison of morphological characteristics of the sang-lis (Garra ruffa) and Iranian cave fish (Iranocypris typhlops).
Hashemzadeh Segherloo, I., Rahmati, S., Purahmad, R., Golzarianpour, K. and Abdoli A. Journal Article 2013 Analysis of the systematic status of the blind Iran cave barb, Iranocypris typhlops, using COI gene.
Jalili, P and Eagderi, S Journal Article 2014 Osteological description of Iran cave barb (Iranocypris typhlops Bruun and Kaiser, 1944)
Farashi, A., Kaboli, M., Rezaei, H. R., Naghavi, M. R., Rahimian, H. and Coad, B. W. Journal Article 2014 Reassessment of the taxonomic position of Iranocycpris typhlops Bruun and Kaiser, 1944 (Actinopterygii: Cyprinidae)
Farashi, A., Kaboli, M., Rezaei, H.R., Naghavi, M.R. and Rahimian, H. Journal Article 2014 Plankton composition and environmental parameters in the habitat of the Iranian cave barb (Iranocypris typhlops) in Iran
Sayyadzadeh, G, Esmaeili, HR and Freyhof, J Journal Article 2015 Garra mondica, a new species from the Mond River drainage with remarks on the genus Garra from the Persian Gulf basin in Iran
Farashi, A., Kaboli, M., Rahimian, H., Rezaei, H. R. and Naghavi, M. R. Journal Article 2015 Selecting suitable habitat for Iranian blind fish (Iranocypris typhlops)
Jouladeh-Roudbar, Arash, Vatandoust, Saber, Eagderi, S, Jafari-Kenari, Sara and Mousavi-Sabet, H Journal Article 2015 Freshwater fishes of Iran: An updated checklist
Teimori, A., Mostafavi, H. and Esmaeli, H.R. Journal Article 2016 An update note on diversity and conservation of the endemic fishes in Iranian inland waters
Esmaeili, HR, Sayyadzadeh, G, Coad, B. W. and Eagderi, S Journal Article 2016 Review of the genus Garra Hamilton, 1822 in Iran with description of a new species: a morpho-molecular approach (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)
Mousavi-Sabet, H, Vatandoust, Saber, Fatemi, Y and Eagderi, S Journal Article 2016 Tashan Cave a new cavefish locality for Iran; and Garra tashanensis, a new blind species from the Tigris River drainage (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)
Mousavi-Sabet, H and Eagderi, S Journal Article 2016 Garra lorestanensis, a new cave fish from the Tigris River drainage with remarks on the subterranean fishes in Iran (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)
Hashemzadeh Segherloo, I., Abdoli, A., Eagderi, S., Esmaeili, H.R., Sayyadzadeh, G., Bernatchez, L., Hallerman, E., Geiger, M.F., Ozulug, M., Laroche, J. and Freyhof, J. Journal Article 2017 Dressing down: convergent reduction of the mental disc in Garra (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in the Middle East
Nebeshwar, K and Vishwanath, W Journal Article 2017 On the snout and oromandibular morphology of genus Garra, description of two new species from the Koladyne River basin in Mizoram, India, and redescription of G. manipurensis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)
Esmaeili, H.R., Mehraban, H., Abbasi, K., Keivany, Y. and Coad, B. Journal Article 2017 Review and updated checklist of freshwater fishes of Iran: Taxonomy, distribution and conservation status
Esmaeili, H.R., Sayyadzadeh, G., Eagderi, S. and Abbasi, K. Journal Article 2018 Checklist of freshwater fishes of Iran
Hashemzadeh Segherloo, I., Normandeau, E., Benestan, L., Rougeux, C., Cote, G. Moore, J.-S., Ghaerahmati, N.A., Abdoli, A. and Bernatchez, L. Journal Article 2018 Genetic and morphological support for possible sympatric origin of fish from subterranean habitats
Barmaki, M.D., Rezaei, M., Raeisi, C.E. and Ashjari, J. Journal Article 2019 Comparison of surface and interior karst development in Zagros karst Aaquifers, southwest Iran.
Vatandoust, S., Mousavi‐Sabet, H., Geiger, M.F. and Freyhof, J. Journal Article 2019 A new record of Iranian subterranean fishes reveals the potential presence of a large freshwater aquifer in the Zagros Mountains
Hashemzadeh, I., Tabatabaei, S.N., Ghaed Rahmati, N., Amiri, M. and Bernatchez, L. Journal Article 2020 The analysis of the relationship between Lorestan cave barbs (Garra typhlops and Garra lorestanensis) and Garra gymnothorax populations in Dez and Karkheh River drainages.