Romanogobio Persuasive Essay
- Describe and then refute the key points of the opposing view.
- Restate and reinforce the thesis and supporting evidence.
2. Drafting the Persuasive Essay
When writing the initial draft of a persuasive essay, consider the following suggestions:
- The introductory paragraph should have a strong “hook” that grabs the reader’s attention. Open with an unusual fact or statistic, a question or quotation, or an emphatic statement. For example: “Driving while talking on a cell phone, even hands-free, is the equivalent of driving drunk.”
- The thesis statement should leave no doubts about the writer’s position.
- Each body paragraph should cover a separate point, and the sentences of each paragraph should offer strong evidence in the form of facts, statistics, quotes from experts, and real-life examples.
The Secret to Good Paragraph Writing
- Consider various ways to make the argument, including using an analogy, drawing comparisons, or illustrating with hypothetical situation (e.g., what if, suppose that…).
- Don’t assume the audience has in-depth knowledge of the issue. Define terms and give background information.
- The concluding paragraph should summarize the most important evidence and encourage the reader to adopt the position or take action. The closing sentence can be a dramatic plea, a prediction that implies urgent action is needed, a question that provokes readers to think seriously about the issue, or a recommendation that gives readers specific ideas on what they can do.
3. Revising the Persuasive Essay
In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be. Keep these considerations in mind:
- Does the essay present a firm position on the issue, supported by relevant facts, statistics, quotes, and examples?
- Does the essay open with an effective “hook” that intrigues readers and keeps them reading?
- Does each paragraph offer compelling evidence focused on a single supporting point?
- Is the opposing point of view presented and convincingly refuted?
- Is the sentence structure varied? Is the word choice precise? Do the transitions between sentences and paragraphs help the reader’s understanding?
- Does the concluding paragraph convey the value of the writer’s position and urge the reader to think and act?
If the essay is still missing the mark, take another look the thesis. Does it present the strongest argument? Test it by writing a thesis statement for the opposing viewpoint. In comparison, does the original thesis need strengthening? Once the thesis presents a well-built argument with a clear adversarial viewpoint, the rest of the essay should fall into place more easily.
4. Editing the Persuasive Essay
Next, proofread and correct errors in grammar and mechanics, and edit to improve style and clarity. Having a friend read the essay helps writers edit with a fresh perspective.
5. Publishing the Persuasive Essay
Sharing a persuasive essay with the rest of the class or with family and friends can be both exciting and intimidating. Learn from the experience and use the feedback to make the next essay even better.
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Freshwater Fishes of Iran
Revised: 20 June 2017
1. Introduction - (includes as one file Contents, Acknowledgements, Purpose, Materials and Methods, History of Research, Fisheries, Geography, Climate, Habitats, Environmental Change, Drainage Basins, Scientific Names, Fish Structure, Collecting Fishes, Preserving Fishes, Checklists, Glossaries, and Quotes).
2. Keys -active but still under construction.
3. Species Accounts
a. Description + Acipenseridae
b. Cyprinidae (AbramistoCyprinus; andGarratoVimba);
c. Cobitidae + Nemacheilidae + Salmonidae + Cyprinodontidae;
d. Sparidae+ Cichlidae.
4. Bibliography 1711-2013(note the papers listed in Published Accounts have updated bibliographies and contain references not found here).
The families Adrianichthyidae (Oryzias latipes), Percichthyidae (Morone saxatilis), Centrarchidae (Lepomis macrochirus and Micropterus salmoides), Mullidae (Mullus barbatus), Scophthalmidae (Psetta maxima) and Pleuronectidae (Platichthys flesus) are deleted from this work as the species therein have not been confirmed from Iran (see Coad and Abdoli (1993b) for some details).
Revised sections of this website appeared as review articles in the Iranian Journal of Ichthyology (http://ijichthyol.org/) and the International Journal of Aquatic Biology (www. ij-aquaticbiology.com), both published by the Iranian Society of Ichthyology. These families are no longer accessible here and will not be updated further.
International Journal of Aquatic Biology, 4(2):102-107, 2016.
International Journal of Aquatic Biology, 3(5):282-289, 2015.
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 1(4):218-257, 2014.
International Journal of Aquatic Biology, 3(4):216-221, 2015.
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 2(2):65-79, 2015.
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 3(1):65-72, 2016.
Alosa, Clupeonella, Tenualosa
International Journal of Aquatic Biology, 5(3):128-192, 2017.
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 3(3):161-180, 2016.
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 2(3):133-147, 2015.
Anatirostrum, Babka, Benthophiloides, Benthophilus, Boeleophthalmus, Caspiosoma, Chasar, Glossogobius, Hyrcanogobius, Knipowitschia, Mesogobius, Neogobius, Periophthalmus, Ponticola, Proterorhinus, Rhinogobius
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 1(4):218-257, 2014.
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 3(4):229-235, 2016.
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 2(1):1-12, 2015.
Chelon, Ellochelon, Mugil, Planiliza (and Liza)
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 4(2):75-130, 2017.
International Journal of Aquatic Biology, 4(3):143-170, 2016.
|Petromyzontidae||Caspiomyzon||Lampreys||International Journal of Aquatic Biology, 4(4):256-278, 2016.|
Gambusia, Poecilia, Xiphophorus
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 1(4):218-257, 2014.
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 1(4):218-257, 2014.
Iranian Journal of Ichthyology, 2(3):133-147, 2015.
Alphabetical Links to Genera
Abramis Acanthalburnus Acanthobrama Acanthopagrus Acipenser Alburnoides Alburnus Aphanius Aspidoparia Aspiolucius Aspius Barbus Barilius Blicca Capoeta Capoetobrama Carasobarbus Carassius Chondrostoma Cobitis Coregonus Crossocheilus Ctenopharyngodon Cyprinion Cyprinus Garra Gobio Hemiculter Hemigrammocapoeta Huso Hypophthalmichthys Ilamnemacheilus Iranocichla Iranocypris Kosswigobarbus Labeo Leucaspius Luciobarbus Mesopotamichthys Metaschistura Misgurnus Mylopharyngodon Oncorhynchus Oreochromis Oxynoemacheilus Parabramis Paracobitis Paraschistura Pelecus Petroleuciscus Pimephales Pseudogobio Pseudorasbora Pseudoscaphirhynchus Rhodeus Romanogobio Rutilus Sabanejewia Salmo Salvelinus Scardinius Schizocypris Schizopygopsis Schizothorax Seminemacheilus Squalius Stenodus Tilapia Tinca Tor Triplophysa Turcinoemacheilus Vimba
Alphabetical Links to Families
Acipenseridae Cichlidae Cobitidae Cyprinidae Cyprinodontidae Nemacheilidae Salmonidae Sparidae
Marine species entering fresh water from the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman can be accessed through a Marine List in the Checklists of the Introduction.
Some sections of this work are incomplete but have been posted as is. They will be updated and queries resolved as time permits. Apart from files not yet complete, distribution maps, some figures and habitat photographs are the main items to be added. A question mark may appear in the text appended to items that need to be checked by me. Numerous queries have led me to post incomplete material.
This work has been carried out over a period of 45 years, starting in 1971. I arrived in Iran in January 1976 and, in that year, 7 articles were published strictly on Iranian fishes (3 on parasites, 1 on pesticides, 1 on fisheries, 1 describing the blind white fish and 1 a summary of the latter; 2 were in Farsi). A generation later in 2006, over 160 articles on Iranian fishes appeared, along with hundreds of relevant works from neighbouring countries, works on the aquatic environment in Iran and works on taxonomy and systematics relevant to Iran. The study of fishes is now a very active field within Iran and the Middle East and much of the newer literature is easily available on-line (see Bibliography). Accordingly, 2011 is the last year that this work was updated although some systematic and taxonomic studies may still be incorporated. The Published Accounts (see above) were updated versions from content in this website.
A wide range of people in Iran, Canada and elsewhere have assisted me in this work over more than 40 years. Inevitably, I will have forgotten some names, which I regret. Some people I never met formally, an example being the gentleman nattily dressed in suit by a stream near Kazerun who jumped fully-clothed into the water to help me catch fish. Numerous other Iranians have assisted my studies and this website is dedicated to them.
The staff at the Department of Biology, Shiraz (then Pahlavi) University helped me in numerous ways to collect fishes during a three-year tenure as an Associate Professor. Dr. Bahman Kholdebarin was Chairman of the Department for much of my time in Iran and it is only through his support that I was able to make the collections that enabled this work to be done. The Research Council of Pahlavi University funded field trips and is gratefully acknowledged for this support. Collections were made with the help of drivers and assistants and their efforts over long periods in the field are gratefully acknowledged. They include H. Assadi, M. H. Jaferi, Sh. Mansoorabadi, A. Shirazi, A. Tofangdar and N. Yaghar. Various other people assisted too and are mentioned below under the Pahlavi University name.
Studies on Iranian fishes since my residence in Iran have been supported by grants from the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa (CMN, fish collection acronym CMNFI), by assistance from staff there including Noel Alfonso, Jadwiga Frank, C. G. Gruchy, Sylvie Laframboise, Alison Murray, Claude Renaud and Michèle Steigerwald, and by a wide range of students and volunteers. The staff in the CMN library searched out all the numerous and varied papers on fishes in Iran and neighbouring countries without which this synthesis would not be possible. One paper took six years to locate and arrived in the form of a microfilm from the Soviet Union. I am particularly indebted to Victor Adomaitis who kindly volunteered for the unrewarding task of scanning hundreds of images and converting them to thumbnails and usable files. Mollie MacCormac carried on this task, making a wide variety of images available for the website.
Various students of Iranian fishes have permitted use of their colour photographs of fishes and are acknowledged where that picture occurs. Most of the line drawings were executed by Susan Laurie-Bourque, with a few by Charles Douglas.
In particular, I should like to acknowledge the support and encouragement of the late Dr. D. E. McAllister, Curator of Fishes, CMN over many years, in terms of training and education, both formal and informal, of financial and moral support, and in practical terms in the ways and means of collecting, cataloguing, identifying, and studying fishes, and of getting things done.
Co-authors are evident in the Bibliography and their added expertise made several studies possible.
Various people and their organisations are mentioned below separately for their particular assistance; these are in alphabetical order.
Dr. Asghar Abdoli collected numerous specimens including exotics and allowed me to incorporate these discoveries in several papers.
Dr. P. Bănărescu, Institutul de Biologie, Bucureşti has communicated much information in detailed letters on fishes in the Middle East as well as loaning and exchanging specimens, for all of which his assistance is acknowledged.
Dr. R. J. Behnke, Colorado State University, Fort Collins is gratefully acknowledged for his extensive loans of, and access to, collections he and associates made. These are listed more fully in the Materials and Methods.
Prof. Dr. P. G. Bianco, University of Naples, allowed me free access to materials, including types, in his possession at the University of Naples and his hospitality is acknowledged.
Dr. N. Bogutskaya and Dr. A. Naseka, Laboratory of Ichthyology, Zoological Institute, Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg are thanked especially for their hospitality, access to collections, data analyses and interpretations on Iranian fishes, as well as co-authorship.
Dr. C. E. Bond, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis allowed extensive loans of fishes from Iran under his care and these materials are listed in the Material and Methods (see Contents).
Staff at the Fish Section, British Museum (Natural History) (now the Natural History Museum) have loaned materials and hosted visits on numerous occasions; their help has been much appreciated for the extensive collections are a required study to understand the Iranian fauna. They include Dr. K. Banister, B. Brewster, P. Campbell, O. Crimmen, S. Davidson, Dr. P. H. Greenwood, A.-M. Hodges, G. Howes, J. Maclaine, Dr. N. Merrett, Dr. D. Siebert, Dr. E. Trewavas, A. Wheeler and Dr. P. J. P. Whitehead.
Dr. H. R Esmaeili, Shiraz University has contributed many items of information, DNA data, specimens and photographs, and has collaborated on a variety of studies on Iranian fishes. His students have carried out field work in these respects and include Ali Gholamifard, Benafsheh Parsi, Golnaz Sayadzadeh, Somayeh Ghasemiyan, Sorror Mirghiasi, Rasol Zamanian, Siavash Babai and Mohadeseh Tahami.
Dr. Karol Hensel for help in visiting Afghan collections in Bratislava and Ján Kautman for access to the material in the Slovak National Museum.
Dr. T. Hrbek, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis is acknowledged for his complementary studies on tooth-carps using molecular techniques.
Dr. M. Kasparek and Prof. Dr. R. Kinzelbach kindly appointed me to the Advisory Board of the journal Zoology in the Middle East which has given me an interesting and valuable overview of studies in that region.
Dr. Yazdan Keivany translated abstracts of his manuscript reports and first posted my bibliography of Iranian freshwater fishes on the internet - a stimulus to this work!
Dr. Bahram Kiabi, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is thanked for various items of information on fishes, translations and gifts of Farsi articles and many interesting fish specimens. His efforts at facilitating collegiality and his students have formed the core of modern university researchers on the fishes of Iran.
Dr. F. Krupp, Johannes Gutenburg-Universität Mainz and Forschungsintitut Senckenberg (NaturMuseum Senckenberg), Frankfurt am Main contributed a wide variety of information on Middle Eastern fishes, sent me copies of his theses and in his letters provided many stimulating points of discussion which helped me clarify my views on the fishes. His published works are a model for students on fishes in that region. He, with Prof. Dr. Kinzelbach, kindly invited me to the Symposium on the Fauna and Zoogeography of the Middle East in Mainz, 1985 and later he also invited me to the First Middle Eastern International Congress, Aqaba, Jordan, 2008.
Nasser Najafpour, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi,Ahvaz was instrumental in arranging visits to Iran and associated field trips. His enthusiastic cooperation in the field resulted in many interesting new specimens and his studies on distributions of fishes in Khuzestan have been very important for this web site. The team at Ahvaz is acknowledged below individually and in teaching me Farsi names of fishes. J. Gh. Marammazi was head of that team and his hospitality and efforts to bring me to Iran are gratefully acknowledged.
The late Dr. T. T. Nalbant, National Museum of Natural History "Grigore Antipa", Bucharest, examined loaches I collected in Iran and provided identifications. Z. Ljabner, ?, Prague also worked on these collections.
Staff at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution), Washington arranged loans of specimens and allowed access to the collections during several visits. They include K. A. Bruwelheide, Dr. B. B. Collette, S. Jewett, S. Karnella and Dr. J. T. Williams.
Robin Ade, Stephane Ostrowksi, Ellis Pennington and David Currie sent specimens, photographs of fish and their habitats, drawings, and other data on fishes based on their field work in Afghanistan. Chris Shank sent, or arranged, the despatch of specimens and copies of documents as well as comments on fish names and other useful information.
Staff at the Fischsammlung, Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna have also loaned materials and hosted visits and their assistance has been essential to studies on Iranian fishes based on the collections of J. J. Heckel. They include Dr. H. Ahnelt, Dr. E. Mikschi, Dr. B. Herzig and Dr. R. Hacker.
Dr. J. G. Nielsen and Dr. P. R. Möller, Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen facilitated access to collections despite the "orkan".
Dr. P. Bartsch and Mrs. C. Lamour, Museum für Naturkunde, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin for access to collections.
Dr. Peter Rask Møller and Tammes Menne for access to and a loan of material from the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen.
M. Rabaniha and F. Owfi, Persian Gulf Fisheries Research Centre, Bushehr and Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, kindly copied the MMTT catalogue for me and showed me various specimens of fishes from their work in Bushehr Province and southern Iran.
Dr. Jalal Valiallahi provided stimulating discussions on the limits and the content of the genus Barbussensu lato in Iran while working at the CMN as well as a variety of photographs of these sometimes immense fish.
Prof. Dr. H. Wilkens, Ralf Thiel and Irina Eidus, Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum der Universität Hamburg kindly loaned materials and facilitated two visits to the museum to examine materials.
Various people collected material for me or made gifts of material, sent specimens for identification, identified material, allowed access to collections under their care, made loans of material, provided other useful data and general information, and exchanged ideas. These are listed below in alphabetical order with their affiliations at the time of their contribution (sometimes only email addresses were known; and apologies if any titles are missing):-
add all co-authors from Bibliog?
K. Abbasi, Gilan Fisheries Research Centre, Bandar Anzali, I. M. Abd, Nature Iraq, Baghdad, H. A. Abdolhay, Tehran, I. M. Abd, Nature Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq, A. Abdoli, Fisheries Research Centre, Sari and Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, S. Abdolmalaki, Gilan Fisheries Research Centre, Bandar Anzali, S. M. A. Abdullah, Iraq, Dr. T. Abe, University Museum, University of Tokyo, Dr. M. Abedi, Savadkooh University, H. Abyot, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, T. K. Aday, Iraq, Dr. A. Adhami, Muze-ye Melli-ye Tarikh-e Tabi'i, Tehran, A. Afzali, Bandar Abbas, Fikret Ahsenböre, Turkey, Dr. A. Akbary Pasand, University of Zabol, Zabol, A. Alamdari, Organization of the Environment, Shiraz, A. A. Al-Attar, Basrah University, A. J. Al-Faisal, Basrah University, A. W. Al-Hakim, University of Nottingham, L. A. J. Al-Hassan, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, S. A. S. Al Hatimy, Oman Natural History Museum, Muscat, W. Al-Baharna, Directorate of Fisheries, Bahrein, B. A. Al-Hussein Al-Saadi, Iraq, Dr. N. M. Ali, Biological Research Centre, University of Baghdad, Dr. T. S. Ali, University of Basrah, S. Alinejad, Offshore Fisheries Research Centre, Chah Bahar, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, H. R. Alizadeh, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, A. R. Al-Jafery, Department of Hydrobiology, Baghdad, Dr. H. Alkahem, King Saud University, Riyadh, M. A. Al-Mukhtar, Fisheries Research Centre, Ahvaz, Dr. A. J. Al-Rudainy, University of Baghdad, Iraq, Dr. A. Al-Shamma'a, Ministry of Science and Technology, Iraq, Nisreen Alwan, Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Germany, Prof. O. A. Amin, Arizona State University, Tempe, Dr. F. Andreone, Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Dr. R. Arai, National Science Museum, Tokyo, G. Arbocco, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "Giacomo Doria", Genova, Dr. J. D. Archibald, Yale University, Connecticut, Dr. N. B. Armantrout, Portland, Oregon and family, Dr. G. Arratia, University of Kansas, Lawrence, S. Asadollah, Isfahan University of Technology, A. Ashraf, Encyclopædia Iranica, Columbia University, New York, Dr. J. W. Atz, Department of Herpetology and Ichthyology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, Prof. S. Balik, Ege University, Izmir, Prof. E. Balletto, Istituto di Zoologia, Genova, G. A. C. Balma, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Carmagnola, Dr. K. Banister, Fish Section, British Museum (Natural History), London, A. J. Bardhun, Shiraz, D. M. Bartley, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Dr. V. V. Barsukov, Zoological Institute, Academy of Sciences, Leningrad, M. L. Bauchot, Laboratoire d'Ichtyologie générale et appliquée, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, R. Beck, COFAD GmbH, Tutzing, Dr. W. C. Beckman, Opelousas, Louisiana, Dr. A. Ben-Tuvia, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. M. Berberian, Uinversity of Cambridge, Dr. P. Berrebi, Université Montpellier, Dr. A. D. Berrie, Freshwater Biological Association, Wareham, Dr. E. Bertelsen, Zoologisk Museum, Copenhagen, Prof. Dr. P. G. Bianco, Universita degli Studi di l'Aquila, Italy, F. Biglari, National Museum of Iran, Tehran, K. L. Bist, Government Postgraduate College, Gopeshwar, J. Bohlen, Academy of Sciences, Libechov, Dr. J. E. Böhlke, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, K. Borkenhagen, Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Germany, Dr. A. H. Bornbusch, Duke University, Durham, Dr. J. Briggs, King Faisal University, Dammam, Dr. J. C. Briggs, Watkinsville, Georgia, Dr. K. E. Carpenter, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, V. Chamanara, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, L. A. Cloutier, Department of the Environment, Tehran, Dr. D. Coffey, Pahlavi University, Shiraz, Dr. M. J. Collares-Pereira, Museu Bocage, Lisbon, Dr. B. B. Collette, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, J. Collins, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Dr. J. T. Collins, Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Dr. L. J. V. Compagno, J. L. B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown, Dr. B. B. Collette, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, G. H. Copp, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft, Dr. L. Cornwallis, Oxford, S. Cowton, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, A. S. Creighton, Division of Fishes, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dr. F. Cross, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Dr. E. J. Crossman, Department of Ichthyology and Herpetology, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, E. L. Daniel, Encyclopædia Iranica, Columbia University, New York, F. Darvishi, Mazandaran, S. Deeb, American University of Lebanon, Beirut, S. Dehqan-Mediseh, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, Dr. G. B. Delmastro, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Carmagnola, M. Desoutter, Laboratoire d'Ichtyologie générale et appliquée, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, Dr. M. M. Dick, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, P. Dickinson, National Zoological Garden, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, W. A. Dill, Davis, California, J. Dominique, Freshwater and River Ecology Research Unit, Villeurbane, M. Doroudi, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Bandar-e Lengeh, Dr. A. DouAboul, Kitchener, Ontario, Dr. P. Dugan, Penang, Malayasia, Dr. J. D. Durand, ESA CNRS, Villeurbane, J. Dusek, Prague, A. Ebrahimi, Lorestan University, Khorramabad, M. Ebrahimi, Kerman, J. Edmondson, Liverpool Museum, Dr. G. Ekingen, Veteriner Fakultesi, Elazig, O. Elter, Museo ed Istituto di Zoologia Sistematico, Universita di Torino, Dr. B. Elvira, Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Madrid, G. El Zein, Université Libanaise, Ksara, F. Emamai, Shilat, Iran, Dr. F. Erk'akan, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Dr. W. N. Eschmeyer, Department of Ichthyology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, Gh. Eskandary, Fisheries Research Centre, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, Dr. H. R. Esmaeili, Shiraz University, E. Esmaily Nejad, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, D. Evans, IUCN, Cambridge, K. Evans, Pahlavi University, Shiraz, K. Fakhro, Directorate of Fisheries, Bahrein, R. Fatemi, Tehran, Dr. A. M. Fazel, Natural Resources Faculty, Tehran University, Karaj and Natural History Museum, Department of the Environment, Tehran, , H. Fazly, Fereydun Kenar, Mazandaran, R. F. Field, Muscat, Dr. E. Firouz, Tehran, Dr. W. Fischer, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, J. Fitzpatrick, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Dr. R. Fricke, Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart, Dr. J. Freyhof, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, P. A. M. Gaemers, Rijksmuseum van Geologie en Mineralogie, Leiden, M. D. Gallagher, Oman Natural History Museum, Muscat, M. Geerts, Swalmen, The Netherlands, Prof. Dr. R. Geldiay, Ege University, Izmir, Dr. C. George, Union College, Schenectady, Dr. H. Ghadirnejad, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, A. Ghamoosi, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, S. M. Ghasempouri, Tarbiat Modares University, Noor, Dr. D. I. Gibson, British Museum (Natural History), London, Z. Gholami, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, D. Golani, Zoological Museum, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, K. Golzarianpour, Tehran, Dr. M. Goren, Tel Aviv University, S. Gorgin, Shiraz, Dr. B. Groombridge, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, Dr. S. H. Gruber, University of Miami, J. M. Gunn, University of Ottawa, R. Haas, California State University, Fresno, M. Hafezieh, Research Centre for Natural Resources and Animal Husbandry, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Shiraz, Dr. J. Halpern, Pahlavi University, Shiraz, A. Hardy, Iraq, Dr. K. E. Hartel, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, S. S. Hasan, University of Basrah, Dr. M. R. Hassannia, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, M. R. Hemami, Isfahan University of Technology, D. M. Herdson, The Laboratory, Plymouth, E. Holm, Department of Ichthyology and Herpetology, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Dr. R. A. Hinrichsen, Shad Foundation, Seattle, A.-M. Hodges, Fish Section, British Museum (Natural History), London, M. L. Holloway, Fish Section, British Museum (Natural History), London, L. Honarmond, University of Tehran, Dr. J. Holčík, Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Drs. F. and Sh. Hosseinie, Shiraz University, Dr. C. Hubbs, University of Texas, Austin, Dr. J. Huber, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, J. Hull, University Museum, Oxford University, Dr. N. A. Hussain, Marine Science Centre, University of Basrah, Dr. S. A. Hussein, University of Basrah, Ch. Izadi, Research Centre for Natural Resources and Animal Husbandry, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Shiraz, Gh. Izadpanahi, Dr. B. Jalali, ABZIGOSTAR, Tehran, Dr. S. Jahromi, Pahlavi University, Shiraz, Dr. S. Jamili, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, Gh. A. Jasimi, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, Dr. M. N. Javed, Government College, Lahore, Dr. K. C. Jayaram, Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, K. Jazebizadeh, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Ahvaz, Dr. J. B. Jensen, Pahlavi University, Shiraz, S. A. Johari, Birjand University and Tarbiat Modarres University, Noor, Dr. R. K. Johnson, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, W. J. Jones, Al Ain, U.A.E., A. H. Kadun, University of Basrah, B. B. Kamangar, University of Kordestan, Sanandaj, Dr. H. G. Kami, University of Tehran, Dr. E. Kamrani, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, J. M. Kapetsky, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Dr. M. H. Karim Koshteh, University of Guelph, M. S. Kashani, Iran, Dr. M. Kasparek, Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg, Dr. E. J. Keall, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, F. Kedairy, Iraq, M. D. Keene, Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait, Dr. A. Keyvanfar, Centre national de Transfusion sanguine-Institut, Paris, R. Khaefi, Shiraz University, Dr. G. Khalaf, Lebanese University, Mansourieh-el-Metn, Dr. N. R. Khamees, University of Basrah, S. Khera, Punjab University, Chandigarh, A. Khodady, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Dr. E. Khurshut, Institute of Zoology, Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Prof. Dr. R. Kinzelbach, Zoologisches Institut, Darmstadt, Dr. W. Klausewitz, Forschungsintitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt, Dr. W. L. Klawe, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Dr. M. Kottelat, Zoologsiches Staatsammlung, Munich, Dr. A. Kownacki, Laboratory of Water Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Dr. S. O. Kullander, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, the late E. Kullmann, Bonn, Dr. K. Kuronuma, Tokyo University of Fisheries, Dr. M. Kuru, Hacettepe University, Ankara, P. Lamothe, Hydro Québec, Montréal, Dr. K. J. Lazara, US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York, A. Lealmonfared, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Dr. R. E. Lee, Pahlavi University, Shiraz, Dr. K. E. Limburg, State University of New York, Syracuse, Dr. R. Littman, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Prof. Dr. H. Loffler, Vienna, R. Lolea, Gorgan University, J. Long, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, O. Lucanus, Montreal, Dr.Mabee, Department of Zoology, Duke University, Durham, A. A. Mahdi, University of Basrah, A. Mahjoor Azad, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Dr. P. S. Maitland, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Edinburgh, Dr. H. Malicky, Biologische Station Lunz, L. Maltz, Tel Aviv University, Dr. N. E. Mandrak, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Burlington, Ontario, J. Mansoori, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, J. Gh. Marammazi, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, M. Maramazi, Khorramshahr University of Marine Science and Technology, R. Martino, American Killifish Association, Dr. M. Masoumian, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, Dr. A. Matinfar, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, Y. Mayahi, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, Dr. R. L. Mayden, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, J. J. McAniff, National Underwater Accident Center, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, M. McDavitt, Alexandria, Virginia, S. Mickleburgh, Fauna and Flora Preservation Society, London, H. Meeus, Belgische Killifish Vereniging, Wommelgen, R. Mehrani, Lorestan Research Centre of Natural Resources and Animal Science, Khorramabad, Dr. A. G. K. Menon, Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, Dr. S. N. Messieh, UNDP, Abu Dhabi, Dr. F. T. Mhaisen, University of Baghdad, Dr. A. Miller, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, I. D. Miller, United States-Saudi Arabian Joint Commission, New York, Dr. P. Miller, University of Bristol, Dr. R. R. Miller, Division of Fishes, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dr. A. A. Mirhosseyni, National Natural History Museum, Tehran, Dr. M. R. Mirza, Lahore, A. Mobaraki, Department of the Environment, Tehran, M. R. Mohaghegh, Tehran, M. Mohammadi, Gorgan Agricultural and Natural Resources University, Dr. H. Mohammadian, Muze-ye Melli-ye Tarikh-i Tabi'i, Tehran, Dr. S. Moini, Department of the Environment, Tehran, Dr. B. Mokhayer, University of Tehran, Dr. K. Molnár, Veterinary Medical Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Dr. F. Moravec, Institute of Parasitology, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague, R. Morgan, U.S. Army, Iraq, E. Morin, SOGREAH, Echirolles, Dr. M. Morris, St. Andrews, Scotland, H. Mostafavi, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Dr. E. O. Murdy, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Washington, Dr. G. S. Myers, Scotts Valley, California, R. Naddafi, Uppsala University, Sweden, M. Naderi, Mazandaran Fishery Research Centre, Sari, S. Naem, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, A. Nasrollahzadeh, Gilan, Prof. Dr. C. M. Naumann, Universität Bielefeld, H. Nazari, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Dr. S. Nazeeri, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Khorramabad, R. B. Nehring, Department of the Environment, Tehran, N. Niameymandi, Persian Gulf Fisheries Research Centre, Bushehr, Dr. H. Nijssen, Instituut voor Taxonomisch Zoölogie, Zoölogisch Museum, Universiteit van Amsterdam, M. Nikpaey, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, H. Niksirat, Iran, N. Nouri, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, Dr. O. Oliva, Charles University, Prague, H. Ostavari, Iran, Dr. H.-J. Paepke, Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Dr. A. Paltrinieri, World Health Organization, Muscat, F. Papahn, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Dr. L. R. Parenti, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, J. Parkinson, Edmonton, A. Parsamanesh, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Ahvaz, D. Peck, IUCN, Gland, T. Petr, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, H. Piri Zirkohy, Gilan Fisheries Research Centre, Bandar Anzali, Dr. E. P. Pister, Desert Fishes Council, Bishop, California, E. Penning, Delft Hydraulics, The Netherlands, S. P. Platania, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, T. Plosch, Ganderkesee, L. Podshadley, Department of Ichthyology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, Dr. M. Pourgholam, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Sari, M. Price, Division of Fishes, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dr. G. S. Proudlove, Department of Environmental Biology, University of Manchester, T. A. Qureshi, Technical Institute for Agriculture, Amara, M. Rabbaniha, Persian Gulf Fisheries Research Centre, Bushehr, A. Rahdari, Zabol Hatchery, Sistan, Dr. H. Rahimian, University of Tehran, Dr. M. Ramin, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, Dr. S. Rasool, University of Salahaddin, Erbil, F. M. Razi, Nature and Wildlife Museum, Tehran, Dr. W. J. Rainboth, University of California, Los Angeles, R. W. Redding, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, M. Raissy, Azad University, Shahr-e Kord, D. Rees, BBC, London, Dr. B. Reichenbacher, Department für Geo- und Umweltwissenschaften Paläontologie & Geobiologie, München, Dr. K. Relyea, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, H. Rezai, Tehran, Dr. S. Rezvani Gilkolaei, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, S. Richards, Murray, Utah, Dr. T. R. Roberts, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, A. Roohi, Sabzevar Teaching and Training University, Sabzevar, Khorasan, Dr. I. Rostami, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, C. Rubec, Canadian International Development Agency, Ottawa, B. Saadallah, Iraq Natural History Museum, Baghdad, M. A. G. Saadati, Department of the Environment, Mashhad, H. Saadoni, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, H. R. A. Sabet, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Tehran, A. R. Saeed, University of Kerman, E. Saderigh-Nejad Massouleh, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Khorramabad, H. Safikhani, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, Dr. A. Salnikov, Institute of Zoology, Academy of Sciences, Ashkhabad, Dr. A. Samaie, Muse-ye Melli-ye Tarikh-e Tabi'i, Tehran, B. Sanford, Montrose, Colorado and Port Ludlow, Washington, Dr. A. Sanyal, Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, Dr. A. Sari, University of Tehran, Dr. M. Sarieyyüpoglu, Firat Üniversitesi, Elazig, Dr. A. Savari, Faculty of Oceanography, Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, M. Sayfali, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, T. Schulz, Büdingen, Germany, Dr. D. A. Scott, Dursley, Gloucestershire, Dr. D. E. Sergeant, Arctic Biological Station, Ste-Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Gh. Shakhiba, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Ahvaz, A. J. Shams, Directorate of Fisheries, Bahrein, Dr. I. Sharifpour, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Ahvaz, J. W. Sherman, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Dr. A. Shiralipour, Pahlavi University, Shiraz, S. Shiri, Iranian Artemia Research Centre, Urmia, Dr. I. Q. Siddiqui, King Faisal University, Al Hasa, Dr. P. Skelton, Fish Section, British Museum (Natural History), London, Dr. G. R. Smith, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Dr. W. F. Smith-Vaniz, Academy of Sciences, Philadelphia, M. Soleymani, Green Front of Iran, Tehran, K. Solgi, Iran, J. Stewart, U.S. Army, D. Steere, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, Dr. A. N. Svetovidov, Zoological Institute, Academy of Sciences, Leningrad, Dr. C. C. Swift, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, A. Teimori, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, Dr. F. Terofal, Zoologische Sammlung des Bayreischen Staates, München, M. V. Tofighi, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, A. Torfi, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Ahvaz, Dr. W. Torke, Institut fur Urgeschichte, Tübingen, J. Thull, Montana State University, Bozeman, A. J. Toman, Basrah University, Dr. E. Tortonese, Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genova, Dr. R. A. Travers, Fish Section, British Museum (Natural History), London, R. G. Tuck, Muze-ye Melli-ye Tarikh-e Tabi'i, Tehran, Dr. H. Türkmen, Istanbul Üniversitesi, Dr. E. Unlu, University of Dicle, Diyarbakir, Dr. I. Unsal, Istanbul Üniversitesi, T. Valinasab, Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, Dr. J. Valiallahi, Tarbiat-e Modarres, Noor, W. van Neer, Royal Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren, Prof. Dr. R. Victor, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Dr. B. Vilenkin, Ottawa, Ontario, Prof. Dr. W. Villwock, Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum, Hamburg, Dr. V. D. Vladykov, University of Ottawa, A. Vosughi, Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Jahad-e Sazandegi, Tehran, B. Waaland, Pahlavi University, Shiraz, P. Walczak, Department of the Environment, Tehran, Dr. B. G. Warner, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Dr. B. A. Whitton, University of Durham, F. Wicker, Forschungsintitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt am Main, Dr. J. Williams, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, Dr. R. Winterbottom, Department of Ichthyology and Herpetology, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Dr. G. H. Wossughi, University of Tehran, Dr. T. C. Young, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, A. H. Zalaghi, Iran, M. Zapater, Zaragoza, A. R. Zeanaie, Payam-e Noor University, Bandar Abbas, A. F. Zivotovsky, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, Dr. J. Zorriezahra, Iranian Fisheries Research Organization, Tehran, .
Individual Iranians, too numerous to mention here, kindly enunciated carefully and repeatedly Farsi fish names for my cloth ear. However it would be remiss not to mention staff at the Iranian Fisheries Research and Training Organization, Ahvaz including N. Najafpour, Gh. Marammazi, Gh. Eskandari, and M. A. Al-Mukhtar, as well as E. Firouz, Tehran, B. Kiabi and A. Abdoli, Gorgan Agricultural and Natural Resources University, and Y. Keivany, University of Alberta, Edmonton.
And finally I must thank my wife Sylvie and son Nicholas for supporting me in my obsession with fishes from Iran and Nick for constructing the index page for this website and linking it to the internet.
This work is meant to provide a guide to the freshwater fishes of Iran. There are no modern keys to this fauna, some available books are incomplete or cursory treatments or outdated, and the detailed and diverse scientific literature is widely scattered in time, languages and journals. Iran lies at a region of major zoogeographical interchange and has a diverse and interesting ichthyofauna about which comparatively little is known. An accurate identification is a pre-requisite for further scientific studies and this website aims to serve that purpose and to be an introductory guide to the fishes. The guide is aimed at a mixed audience, including scientists familiar with ichthyology to whom some introductory sections of this work will be superfluous, and those whose knowledge of fishes is embryonic or who may have limited access to literature sources.
This work has been carried out over a period of 40 years from my first studies on Iranian fishes in 1971 at the University of Ottawa on collections made by V. D. Vladykov along the Caspian coast, continuing during a three-year residence in Iran from January 1976. In that year, 7 articles were published strictly on Iranian fishes (3 on parasites, 1 on pesticides, 1 on fisheries, 1 describing the blind white fish and 1 a summary of the latter; 2 were in Farsi). In 2006, 160 articles on Iranian fishes appeared, along with many relevant works from neighbouring countries, works on the aquatic environment in Iran and works on taxonomy and systematics relevant to Iran. The study of fishes is now a very active field within Iran and the Middle East. Accordingly, 2010 is the last year that this work is updated although some systematic and taxonomic studies may still be incorporated.
Literature on fishes of Iran can be found in Zoological Record (Pisces) and at the Scientific Information Database (or SID at http://www.sid.ir/En/Index.asp)which has lists of publications in Iranian journals and abstracts, both in English, as well as in Farsi.
The main Introduction contains several explanatory sections. These sections include detailed methods of counting and measuring characters, an explanation of scientific names of fishes, details of fish structure so that keys can be readily understood, ways of capturing and preserving fishes and recording the all-important collection data, and how to identify fishes. This introductory part also includes a brief review of the history of research on Iranian fishes and descriptions of the environment including geography, climate, habitats, environmental change and drainage basins.
The bulk of the text is the Species Accounts which serve to identify, describe and map the distribution of each species. Families of fishes follow Nelson (2006) with genera and species arranged alphabetically within each family. Each Species Account is comprised of the following parts: the scientific name, common names, sections on systematics, key characters, morphology, sexual dimorphism, colour, size, distribution, zoogeography, habitat, age and growth, food, reproduction, parasites and predators, economic importance, conservation, further work, sources, and an illustration and a distribution map.
The biological information may be cursory. Many species are poorly known and their biology has not been studied, especially within Iran. Some information is available for species shared with Turkey and Iraq and I have tried to incorporate this literature as being less well known or accessible. Many Caspian Sea basin species are shared with Europe and the former U.S.S.R., are comparatively well-known and have an extensive literature, often summarised in books, bibliographies and synopses. It is not known in many cases if their biology in Iran is similar. Iranian populations are often referred to distinct subspecies and occur at the southern limit of the species range. Only a brief, summary account of their biology is therefore given from synoptic literature sources. Biological information generally is a brief summary of literature and readers should consult the original papers for more details.
Some anecdotal biological information is added from my field collections where spawning individuals were noted or gut contents examined superficially. Most fish spawn in the spring. Feeding habits can often be deduced from morphology. Fish with an arched and ventral mouth, horny jaw edge, elongate gut and black peritoneum are feeders on detritus and aufwuchs scraped from rocks. Most fish with a simple, s-shaped gut feed on invertebrates such as crustaceans and aquatic insect larvae. A few fish with molar pharyngeal teeth have a diet of molluscs whose shells are crushed by the heavy teeth. Some fish are piscivorous and have an appropriate jaw shape and streamlined appearance suitable for catching and holding their fish prey. Fish with elongate and numerous fine gill rakers filter phytoplankton or zooplankton from the water column. Very few fish feed on macrophytes (large plants).
Checklists summarise the diversity of the ichthyofauna. Glossaries explain both ichthyological terms for those new to the science and Farsi and geographical terms for those unfamiliar with that language. A Bibliography comprises books and papers referred to in the text and other relevant works, which form a good general basis for the serious student of Iranian freshwater fishes.
Materials and Methods
The descriptions in this work are founded on original observations of material and a consideration of the literature. The sources of this material are various museums which house a scattering of Iranian species including in particular the Natural History Museum, London (formerly the British Museum (Natural History)), the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, and the Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg which are depositories for older type material, but the bulk of the research has been based on four collections. The first of these was made by V. D. Vladykov during 1961 and 1962 when he was an Inland Fisheries Biologist under the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization, UN. This material was deposited in the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa (now the Canadian Museum of Nature) and consists mainly of specimens from the Caspian Sea basin. The second collection was made by employees of the Department of the Environment, Tehran, and N. B. Armantrout and R. J. Behnke. Half this collection was placed in the National Museum of Natural History, Tehran (Muze-ye Melli-ye Tarikh-e Tabi'i) and half was retained by R. J. Behnke and formed the basis of Saadati's (1977) thesis at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. This collection covered the whole of Iran except the Caspian and Sistan basins. Through the courtesy of Dr. Behnke I have been able to examine this material in Fort Collins and make extended loans for study in Ottawa. The Muze-ye Melli-ye Tarikh-e Tabi'i collection is small (examined in 1995; catalogue 2000) and not as diverse as the Fort Collins material. Oregon State University contains a collection of fishes made by W. Kinunen, S. Bullock, R. RaLonde and P. Walczak, who were members of the Peace Corps in Iran (some of this collection was deposited at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, which helped to fund the collection and transport of specimens). Dr. Carl Bond kindly loaned me much of this material for long periods. This collection was from all parts of Iran. The last collection, comprising the bulk of the material, was made by me from 1976 to 1979 while I was teaching at Pahlavi (now Shiraz) University in Shiraz. This collection is housed in the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa (formerly NMC, now CMNFI), and covers all of Iran except the extreme northeast and northwest. Field trips were funded by the Research Council of Pahlavi University. Subsequently various Iranian colleagues have sent me specimens and these too are incorporated in the present work. Principal among these were materials collected by Asghar Abdoli (then based in Golestan) and Nasser Najafpour and associates of the Iranian Fisheries Research Organisation (IFRO), Ahvaz. These collections together effectively cover all the major drainages of Iran and provide the best foundation yet assembled for a study on this ichthyofauna.
All material stored at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa was examined in 45% isopropyl alcohol. Preservative was later changed to 70% ethanol. The Canadian Museum of Nature also stores extensive field records including slides, numerous data sheets on most species (counts and measurements including x-ray plates), an extensive literature base including translations from foreign languages, and comparative specimens and literature from other countries in Southwest Asia.
Specimens collected by me were caught by any means that presented themselves. Gear used included seines of various lengths and mesh sizes (much repaired and patched!), gill-nets of various stretch meshes (sometimes used as seines), cast-nets of several diameters (thrown skilfully by others and poorly by me), by hand, and by purchase from small boys and anglers using a variety of techniques (of angling on their part and of persuasion on mine to extract catches from their possession). The object was to sample any water body for all the kinds of habitat found there within the limitations of a hasty schedule and the available equipment. Most habitats were visited for less than one hour, but in the small springs and streams, which comprise the bulk of Iranian fresh waters outside the large rivers and lakes of Khuzestan and Sistan and the deep waters of the Caspian Sea, this was more than adequate to catch a good and varied sample of most species. This was borne out by repeated visits of longer duration to certain localities near Shiraz. Pools and flowing sections were seined, gill-netted or cast-netted. Riffle areas were also attacked in this fashion or seines were used to block off sections of riffle and upstream rocks disturbed by kicking to scare secretive species like loaches into the fixed net. In small streams a dip-net was placed downstream of individual rocks which were kicked over and the net scooped along the stream bed. Cast-nets proved particularly useful in rocky streams which had little open water. Draped over the rocks and only partly in the water, they nevertheless caught large and fast specimens which were unobtainable by seining. The available fishing gear was less effective on large rivers and on the Caspian Sea. Here boats, long gill-nets and trawl gear would have been most useful. The collections are poor in inhabitants of the main current of large rivers and in the deep water species of the Caspian Sea. Larger specimens in major water bodies undoubtedly evaded my nets with ease; some samples of larger individuals were available from other collections and by purchase from commercial fisheries.
Several criteria were used to select specimens for counts and measurements. Where few specimens were available, all were counted and measured. Where several hundred specimens were available selection was by size (usually larger fish; sometimes much smaller fish as well for comparison with adult values), by sex to ensure an adequate representation of males and females, and by locality where geographical variation was examined. Badly damaged or grossly deformed specimens were excluded but there was no (conscious) selection for "ideal" specimens.
Wherever a putative species was collected from more than one drainage basin and material diversity permitted, a comparison was made between the drainage basins. This work is continuing and details of methods and materials are to be seen in published results. Students of Iranian fishes should note that the application of sufficient statistical "weight" will reveal differences between drainage basin samples and this is especially true of a desert and semi-desert country like Iran. Springs and streams may have been colonised by only a few founders. A small population sampled in the lower reaches of a stream may not have had any contact with conspecifics higher up in the stream for many generations. Conversely, several seasons of heavy rain may have afforded recent opportunities for contact and gene exchange. A one-time sample from a stream may therefore give a quite inaccurate picture of the character suite of that population. Whether any of the differences detected have systematic significance requires careful consideration. For example, Balletto and Spano (1977) described 9 subspecies of Garratibanica in the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula using Principal Components Analysis. This has been termed "statistical overkill" by Alkahem and Behnke (1983). Also Krupp (1983) has observed that samples of Garra rufa from the same locality collected in different years or seasons varied in several characters. Description of subspecies based on limited material requires a great deal of care therefore.
There are various methods of measuring and counting anatomical features of fishes. The ones I have used are outlined below. They are based on Hubbs and Lagler (1958) and Trautman (1981). Some particular characters are outlined in papers by me in the Bibliography.
The method of counting fin rays differs from that in use in North America since unbranched and branched rays are counted separately. A "III,8" count in the European literature would be "9" in the system advocated by Hubbs and Lagler (1958), i.e. the soft ray count is increased by one to convert from the "European" to the "American" system. The bulk of the work on fishes of southwest Asia follows the European system and I have adopted this methodology to facilitate comparisons, although eschewing Roman numerals.
A) Meristic characters
In this book, scale counts, number of gill rakers and of vertebrae are usually expressed as ranges based on literature sources since frequency counts are rarely given. A separate section gives counts on Iranian fish examined by me followed by a frequency in parentheses (..). Fin ray counts often show strong modes, but citing the mode alone would be misleading. Pharyngeal tooth formula is often a modal value from the literature; loss of or incomplete development of major or minor row teeth is not uncommon, so counts may vary quite markedly.
Scale counts and paired fin ray counts were made on the left side of each fish. In some instances, such as a badly deformed fin or where scales on the left were mostly missing, counts were made on the right. These instances were rare and restricted to species with low sample sizes.
Not all meristic characters had equal sample sizes; some material from other museums was not available for x-rays, large series of pharyngeal tooth counts was not often available because removal of arches damages specimens, some specimens were damaged in certain characters, time did not always permit all characters to be counted, some species are well-known and additional data from Iran is clearly a subset of widely gathered data, some species were examined in detail to address systematic problems, and so on.
All vertebrae were counted including the hypural plate as one vertebra. In Cypriniformes and Siluriformes, the four Weberian vertebrae were included in the count. Almost all counts were made from radiographs.
2) Gill rakers
All rakers on the first gill arch were counted. A lower limb count in the literature includes any raker at the angle of the upper and lower limbs. Gill raker counts presented something of a problem when comparing specimens of disparate sizes. The smaller fish often had very small rakers at each end of the arch. These were easily missed or torn off when cleaning a debris-encrusted arch. Removal of arches for a more careful examination may also damage or destroy the finer rakers which are intimately associated with the tissues adjacent to the arches. Alizarin preparations can be of assistance, but the finer rakers may have no bony content and thereby be omitted. Counts of juvenile fish may therefore give lower values than counts for larger fish, whether this be due to an increase in gill raker number with age or because rakers are more easy to count in larger fish. This kind of variation is only critical where this character is being used in species identification or in analyses meant to define and relate species.
3) Pharyngeal teeth
The teeth of the modified fifth gill arch in Cyprinidae were counted in each row and given as a formula from left to right. A count of 2,5-4,2 consists of two teeth in both the outer left and outer right rows, five teeth in the inner left row and four teeth in the inner right row. Pharyngeal teeth rows in Iranian cyprinids varied from one to three on each side. In certain cases, it was evident from the presence of a socket that a tooth had been lost. The count then included that tooth.
4) Fin rays
a) Dorsal and anal fins
Fin ray counts were divided into two types. One count is of spines or hardened soft rays or any unbranched, unpaired unsegmented rays and this is usually given in Roman numerals in the literature. In deference to some Iranian unfamiliarity with Roman numerals, the spine count is given in Arabic numerals in this text. Spine count included rudimentary rays which, at the anterior dorsal and anal fins, may be obscured by flesh or scales requiring some probing or dissection. Radiographs were often useful to confirm counts made under a microscope. The second count is of soft rays and is also indicated by Arabic numerals. These rays are usually branched, flexible, segmented and laterally paired. The last two unbranched rays often arise from a single internal base and were then counted as one. This is generally the case in Cyprinidae. The branched ray count is the most diagnostic and variable in such fishes. Some families contain species with more than one dorsal fin. The first dorsal fin may be composed of spines and the second dorsal fin of spines and soft rays. In such species the count is given separately for each fin.
b) Caudal fin
The branched caudal fin rays only were counted. Dorsal and ventral to these central rays are a series of unbranched rays which become progressively smaller and may be obscured by flesh and scales where the caudal fin attaches to the caudal peduncle. Counts in other works often comprise the branched rays plus one dorsal and one ventral unbranched ray. Caudal fin ray counts are remarkably uniform within families. In Cyprinidae the count is almost always 17, except for occasional variants. Garra persica was unique in having a strong modal count of 16 branched caudal fin rays.
c) Paired fins
Paired fin ray counts can be separated into unbranched and branched rays. A small splint in some species at the origin of the paired fins was excluded from the count. There is usually one unbranched ray which is not included in counts cited here. The branched ray counts were the most important and are the ones given here. However, in the pectoral fin the innermost rays were often difficult to discern and may increase with age.
a) Lateral line count
The first scale counted was that scale contacting the pectoral girdle. The count continued along the flank following the pored scales and including small, additional scales lying between the large, regular scales as well as any unpored scales. The small, additional scales were relatively rare occurrences and any obviously abnormal fish - those with healed injuries for example - were not counted. The count terminated with the scale lying over the end of the hypural plate as determined by flexing the caudal fin. Some works recommend inclusion of a scale overlying the flexure only if most of its exposed field is closer to the body than to the caudal fin. Since the flexure of the caudal fin produces a relatively broad groove, this is difficult to judge in smaller fish. Therefore, the most posterior scale whose exposed surface touched the groove was the last scale counted. I have also continued the count onto the caudal fin in some species for a total count as this sometimes proved useful in comparison with counts in older literature.
b) Scales above the lateral line
This count commenced with the scale at the origin of the first dorsal fin and continued down and back to, but not including, the lateral line scale. Any scale partially or wholly straddling the dorsal fin origin was counted as one scale. The count followed the natural scale row and included any small or irregular scales in the row.
c) Scales below the lateral line
This count commenced with the scale at the origin of the anal fin, followed the natural scale row up and forward to, but not including, the lateral line scale and included any small or irregular scales. In this, and the previous count, it sometimes proved necessary to shift the counting row because of the scale arrangement. This was always a backward shift. In some instances there were several scales at the anal fin origin which overlapped each other very closely. All these were counted and account for the large degree of variation in counts between individuals of some species.
d) Scales between the lateral line and the pelvic fin origin
This count was made as in the above count.
e) Predorsal scale rows
All rows of scales between the origin of the dorsal fin and the head were counted just below the mid-line of the back on the upper flank. The final "row" at the occiput may consist of a single scale. This method was used because scales on the mid-line may be small and irregular, obscured by heavy pigment, or absent.
f) Caudal peduncle scales
This was the lowest count of the scale rows around the caudal peduncle, usually at its narrowest point. Both lateral line scales were included. Scale rows were counted even when the scale arrangement was such that occasional alternate rows touched. This count may be quite consistent between individuals of a species, but it may also vary markedly. The variation depended on the presence of large scales dorsally and ventrally on the caudal peduncle connecting the flank scale rows. When such large scales were present bridging over the top and bottom of the caudal peduncle, the total count could be, e.g. 12, but in some individuals two or more smaller scales occupied their positions so that the scale count jumped to 16.
B) Morphometric characters
All measurements were to the nearest 0.1 mm using dial calipers. Measurements were taken on the left side unless a left fin, for example, was badly deformed or broken. Badly deformed specimens were not measured. Distortions due to preservation, such as a gaping mouth or expanded gill covers, were gently adjusted to as natural a position as possible. The following list explains how the various measurements were taken. All measurements were taken in a straight line and not over the curve of the head or body.
1) Total length
From the anteriormost part of the head to the tip of either lobe of the caudal fin when that fin is normally splayed.
2) Standard length
From the anteriormost part of the snout (even when the lower jaw projects) to the end of the hypural plate (the end of the plate is found by flexing the caudal fin; in small fish it may be seen by shining a strong light through the caudal region). Standard length can be an inaccurate measurement. The end of the hypural plate is obscured by scales, flesh and caudal rays. Its position is determined by flexing the caudal fin; this flexure is taken to be the end of the hypural plate. Small fish have thin, delicate bones and the flexure may be at the anterior base of the hypural plate, at the origin of the caudal fin rays which articulate with and overlap the end of the hypural plate, or even between the last whole vertebra and the hypural plate. Large fish have a broad flexure which can give a variety of measurements by independent observers. Fortunately, in this study most fish were comparatively small and strong illumination helped to discern the end of the hypural plate. For larger fish I can only plead an attempt at consistency.
3) Head length
From the anteriormost part of the snout to the bony margin of the opercle (excluding the opercular membrane).
4) Body depth
Maximum straight line depth excluding fins or fleshy and scaly structures at fin bases
5) Body width