Gattung Aphaniops   9 Arten

Hoedeman, 1951, Küstengewässer rund um das Rote Meer und den Persischen Golf.


Aphaniops dispar (Rüppell, 1826))

Aphaniops furcatus (Teimori et al., 2014)     

Aphaniops ginaonis (Holly, 1929)

Aphaniops hormuzensis Teimori et al., 2018

Aphaniops kruppi (Freyhof et al., 2017)

Aphaniops richardsoni (Boulenger 1907)

Aphaniops sirhani (Villwock, Scholl & Krupp, 1983)

Aphaniops stiassnyae (Getahun & Lazara, 2001)

Aphaniops stoliczkanus (Day 1872)


DNA barcoding and species delimitation of the Old World tooth-carps, family Aphaniidae Hoedeman, 1949 (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes)
Esmaeili, Teimori, Zarei, Sayyadzadeh. 2020




The fishes, which have currently named Aphanius Nardo, 1827 are the relict of the ancient ichthyofauna of the Tethys Sea. For a long time since 1827, the genus name has been subjected to revision by several researchers using mainly morphological features. Until recently, no comprehensive single- or multi-locus DNA barcoding study has been conducted on whole members of the family Aphaniidae. In the present study, by applying four conceptually different molecular species delimitation methods, including one distance-based method, one network-based and two topology-based methods, we examined a single-locus DNA barcode library (COI) diversity for the 268 sequences within the family Aphaniidae from the Old World (57 sequences are new in the present study and 211 sequences were retrieved from NCBI database). The molecular analyses revealed a clearer picture of intra-family relationships and allowed us to clarify the generic names, and also describe a new genus for the family Aphaniidae. Results supported distinction of three major clades related to three genera within this family: i) the first clade includes the A. mento group which are placed in a new genus, Paraphanius gen. nov., found in the Orontes (= Asi) and Tigris-Euphrates River drainage, the Levant in coastal waters and the Dead Sea basin, western Jordan, and in southern Turkey in the Mediterranean basins as well as in central Turkey. This clade positioned at the base of the phylogenetic tree, (ii) the second clade contains the A. dispar-like brackish water tooth-carps which are transferred to the genus Aphaniops Hoedeman, 1951 (type species, Lebias dispar), distributed in the coastal waters around the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf basins; and (iii) the third clade, the genus Aphanius Nardo, 1827 (type species Aphanius nanus = A. fasciatus) contains all the inland and inland-related tooth-carps, which are mainly distributed in the inland waters in Turkey and Iran and also in the inland-related drainages around the Mediterranean basin.


Aphaniops dispar (Rüppell, 1826)

Atlas zu der Reise im Nördlichen Afrika von Eduard Rüppell. Fische der rothen Meers. Heinrich Ludwig Brönner, Frankfurt am Main: 66, pl. 18 (figs. 1-2).

Type locality: Red sea (without details).

Aphaniops dispar "Jurdab Bahrein"

Synonym of Aphaniops dispar 

Cyprinodon lunatus (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1846)

Cyprinodon moseas (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1846)

Lebias dispar foemina nom. nudum (Rüppell in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1846)

Lebias velifer (Ehrenberg in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1846)

Cyprinodon stoliczkanus (Day, 1872)

Cyprinodon cilensis (Gianferrari, 1930)

Cyprinodon darrorensis (Gianferrari, 1932)

Cyprinodon zacarinii var. airebejensis (Gianferrari, 1933)

Cyprinodon zaccarinii (Gianferrari, 1933)


Aphaniops furcatus (Teimori, Esmaeili, Erpenbeck and Reichenbacher. 2014)

Aphanius furcatus • A New and Unique Species of the Genus Aphanius Nardo, 1827 (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) from Southern Iran: A Case of Regressive Evolution.

Zoologischer Anzeiger - A Journal of Comparative Zoology.  253(4); 327–337. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcz.2013.12.001


Abstract:  A primarily vicariance-based speciation has been suggested for the killifish genus Aphanius Nardo, 1827, but ecological factors are likely to have promoted the speciation processes in addition. Here, we report on the discovery of a unique Aphanius species from Southern Iran and show that also regressive evolution has shaped the present-day diversity of Aphanius. The species is characterized by complete absence of scales and reduction in the biomineralization of hard structures, particularly of the caudal skeleton and jaw teeth. Based on mt-DNA sequences, morphometric and meristic data, osteology, jaw teeth and otoliths, it is described as Aphanius furcatus sp. n. The new species is sympatric with A. dispar ( Rüppell, 1829) in salty rivers and hot sulphuric springs in the Hormuzgan Basin (Southern Iran), and is sister taxon to this species plus A. ginaonis Holly, 1929. Based on geological data we estimate that the divergence between the lineages of A. furcatus and A. dispar is about 12–14 million years old. We conclude that the reductive phenomena observed in A. furcatus have evolved as an evolutionary response to the extreme habitat conditions in order to save energy (because storage of Ca2+ is not necessary), and to transport oxygen efficiently. The results confirm that regressive evolution is an important factor in speciation and occurs independently in separate lineages. 



Aphaniops ginaonis (Holly, 1929)

Drei neue Fischformen aus Persien. Sitz. Akad. Wiss. Wien mathem.-naturwiss. Klasse Abt.1, 138 (7): 63.

Type locality: Ginao, spring, (38 km) north of Bandar Abbas (and 2 km west of Bandar Abbas to Sirjan road), southeastern Iran.




Aphaniops hormuzensis (Teimori, Esmaeili, Hamidan & Reichenbacher, 2018)

Systematics and historical Biogeography of the Aphanius dispar species group (Teleostei: Aphaniidae) and Description of a new species from Southern Iran. J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res.,



Among the species of Aphanius Nardo, 1827, Aphanius dispar (Rüppell, 1828) is the most common taxon and has long been viewed as representing a species group rather than a single species. This study provides comprehensive data on the phylogenetic relationships, morphology, and otoliths within the A. dispar species group, including the description of a new species. Our data demonstrate that the “true” A. dispar is restricted to the Red Sea drainages and that all other populations hitherto identified as A. disparactually represent separate species. Four main clades are defined and named for the geographic areas in which the respective species of Aphanius occur. The oldest one is the “Red Sea clade,” it comprises A. dispar. The “Dead Sea clade” is represented by A. richardsoni (Boulenger, 1907). It is sister to both the “Hormuzgan clade” in S Iran (containing A. hormuzensis sp. nov. and A. ginaonis (Holly, 1929)) and the “Persian Gulf & Gulf of Oman clade” (comprising A. stoliczkanus (Day, 1872)). The species separation within the A. dispar group is confirmed by the distinctive otolith morphology of each species. Moreover, we present a time‐calibrated phylogeny (chronogram) for the A. disparspecies group using †A. princeps (16–17 Mya) as a minimum age and the first appearance of †Prolebias (33–34 Mya) as a maximum age for the genus Aphanius. The evolution and historical biogeography routes are discussed based on the outcome of the chronogram and in the context of the geological and climatic history of the Near East in Pliocene–Pleistocene times.


Aphaniops kruppi (FREYHOF, WEISSENBACHER und GEIGER 2017)

Aphanius kruppi, a new killifish from Oman with comments on the A. disparspecies group (Cyprinodontiformes: Aphaniidae), JÖRG FREYHOF, ANTON WEISSENBACHER, MATTHIAS GEIGER,

Zootaxa, 4338 (3): 557-573, figs.


Eight species are recognised in the Aphanius dispar group. Aphanius dispar from the Red and Mediterranean Sea basins, A. stoliczkanus from coastal areas of the Arabian/Persian Gulf, the northern Arabian Sea east to Gujarat in India, the Gulf of Oman and some endorheic basins in Iran and Pakistan, A. richardsoni from springs in the Dead Sea basin in Jordan and Israel, A. sirhani from the Azraq Oasis in Jordan, A. ginaonis from one spring in Iran, A. furcatus from few streams and springs in Iran and A. stiassnyae from one lake in Ethiopia. Aphanius kruppi, new species, from the Wadi al Batha drainage in northern Oman, is distinguished from adjacent A. stoliczkanus by having 9–14 brown or grey lateral bars on the flank in the male, a roundish, diamond-shaped or somewhat vertically-elongate blotch centred on the caudal-fin base in the female and 2–3 scale rows on the caudal-fin base. The available molecular genetic data for A. dispar reject the hypothesis of the presence of a single widespread coastal species in the Middle East and make it likely that two additional unidentified species occur in the Red Sea basin.


Aphaniops richardsoni  (Boulenger, 1907)

Zoology of Egypt. The Fishes of the Nile. Published for the Egyptian Government,

Hugh Rees Ltd., London: 412.

Type locality: Brine spring near Usdum, Dead Sea.


Aphaniops sirhani (Villwock, Scholl y Krupp, 1983)

Zur Taxonomie, Verbreitung und Speziation des Formenkreis Aphanius dispar (Rüppell, 1828) und Beschreibung von Aph. sirhani n. sp. Mitt. Hamburg Zool. Mus. Inst., 80: 260, figs. 3-4.



Type locality: Azraq oasis, Jordan.

Aphaniops sirhani "Azraq"  (Azraq Oase, Wadi Sirhan - Fänger: Weisenbacher 2000)


Aphaniops stiassnyae (Getahun & Lazara, 2001)

Lebias stiassnyae: a new Species of Killifish from Lake Afdera, Ethiopia. Copeia, 1: 150, fig. 1.


Type locality: lake Afdera, hot spring in southwestern part, Ethiopia (80 m below sea level).



Aphaniops stoliczkanus  (Day, 1872)

Notes on Fish collected by Dr. Stoliczka in Kachi. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal., 41: 258.

Type locality: at the village Joorun and along edge of the Rann river, Lodai, India.