Garra widdowsoni

(Trewavas 1955) Hamidan, Geiger and Freyhof 2014

Garra widdowsoni
Garra widdowsoni. Photograph by Jorg Freyhof


Typhlogarra widdowsoni  Trewavas 1955




Holotype ("Type" in Trewavas, 1955): BMNH 1953.12.31:1 47.5mm SL.  Paratype: BMNH 1953.12.31:2 43mm SL. This species is the type-species by original designation and monotypy of the cave-restricted genus Typhlogarra.


Type locality: a "sink-hole" (= small natural chamber in floor of quarry, phreatic zone exposed) near to the Sheik Hadid Shrine, 500m west of the Euphrates on the northern outskirts of the town of Haditha (34o04'N, 42o24'E). This is also the type locality of Caecocypris basimi and the two species coexist. The only other known collection site is the Pigeon Hole, 12 km south of the type locality. A cave dwelling fish was collected from this site around 1950 (Widdowson 1954) but was lost and not identified. A specimen in the BMNH (BMNH 1960.3.1:31) is recorded from this site thus confirming the presence of the species. In a study of intra-populational variation Niazi (1965) was only able to obtain specimens from the type locality.


Nothing known. The collection locality is simply a small window into the local phreas.


Post (1965) reported that the haploid chromosome number (n) for this species is 24. This appears to be the plesiomorphic state for many teleosts. Niazi (1965) examined 69 specimens (juvenile to adult, 12.0mm - 47.5mm SL) and showed that there is a degree of intra-populational variation within the species. This species belongs to a monophyletic group termed 'labeine cyprinids' by Reid (1978, 1982), where it is joined by other cave-dwelling species, (Garra longipinnis, Garra typhlops, Garra anduzzii, Garra dunsirei, Garra lorestanensis and Garra tashanensisHowes (1991) accepts this placement, calling it the labeine lineage which is member of the subfamily Cyprininae.

Conservation Status

[CR B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv:3.1:2014]

Freyhof, J. 2014. Typhlogarra widdowsoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: RLTS.T22601A19006932.en. Downloaded on 03 July 2017. R (IUCN 1990), R (IUCN 1994), VU D2 (IUCN 1996).

Museum Holdings

As above plus: BMNH 1955.11.23:1-2, 1960.3.1:31, 1979.9.4:7-13 (13 alizarin preparation), 1979.9.4:35-36, 1981.9.21:36-47.

Key References

Need to add Nebeshwar and Vishwanath (2017)  

Widdowson, A. G. Journal Article 1954 Explorers of subterranean by-ways
Trewavas, E. Journal Article 1955 A blind fish from Iraq, related to Garra
Marshall, N. B. and Thines, G. Journal Article 1958 Studies of the brain, sense organs and light sensitivity of a blind cave fish (Typhlogarra widdowsoni) from Iraq
Peters, N. and Peters, G. Journal Article 1965 Die degneration der augen von Typhlogarra widdowsoni (Cyprinidae, Pisces)
Post, A. Journal Article 1965 Vergleichende Untersuchungen der chromosomen-zahlen bei susswasser-Teleosteen
Niazi, A. D. Journal Article 1965 Intrapopulational variation within Typhlogarra widdowsoni Trewavas (Cyprinidae) with some observations on their behaviour
Reid, G. McG. Thesis 1978 A sytematic study of labeine cyprinid fishes with particular reference to the comparative morphology, functional morphology and morphometrics of African Labeo species
Banister, K.E. and Bunni, M.K. Journal Article 1980 A new blind cyprinid fish from Iraq
Reid, G. McG. Journal Article 1982 The form, function and phylogenetic significance of the vomero-palatine organ in Cyprinid fishes
Whitear, M. and Mittal, A.K. Journal Article 1983 Fine structure of the club cells in the skin of Ostariophysan fishes
Sandford, M. Journal Article 1983 Ervaringen met enkele minder bekende holenvissen
Howes, G. J. Book Section 1991 Systematics and biogeography: an overview
Juberthie, C. and Decu, V. Book Section 2001 Irak
Sayyadzadeh, G., Esmaeili, H.R. 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
Esmaeili, H.R., 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)
Bagheri, M., Goudarzi, F., Zalaghi, A.H. and Savabieasfahani, M. Journal Article 2016 Habitat characteristics and population size of Iranocypris typhlops, the Iran cave barb
Saemi-Komsari, M., Mousavi-Sabet, H., Sattari, M., Eagderi, S., Vatandoust, S. and Doadrio, I. Journal Article 2020 Descriptive osteology of Garra rossica (Nikolskii 1900)