Dressing down: convergent reduction of the mental disc in Garra (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in the Middle East

SEGHERLOO I. H., ABDOLI A., EAGDERI S., Esmaeili H. R., Sayyadzadeh G., Bernatchez L., ...More

HYDROBIOLOGIA, vol.785, no.1, pp.47-59, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 785 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10750-016-2902-8
  • Journal Name: HYDROBIOLOGIA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.47-59
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


In the Middle East, species of Garra are believed to have invaded the area in two independent waves from the Indo-Malayan biogeographic region. This hypothesis is based on the structure of the mental disc, a unique specialization of the lower lip, which is believed to be an adaptation to fast-flowing waters. While several species have such a mental disc, others completely lack a mental disc, being adapted to slow-moving water or to subterranean life. In this study, the phylogenetic relationships of Middle Eastern Garra species, including 16 described and 4 undescribed species, were analysed using mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I sequences. The results are concordant with traditional hypotheses on two invasion events; however, these invasion events are independent from the presence, absence or shape of the mental disc. We postulate convergent reduction of the mental disc in 5-6 independent lineages of Garra in the Middle East.