Benthophilus mahmudbejovi Ragimov, 1976
Small-spine tadpole-goby

Family:  Gobiidae (Gobies), subfamily: Gobiinae
Max. size:  6.6 cm TL (male/unsexed); max. reported age: 1 years
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish; depth range 1 - 50 m
Distribution:  Eurasia: Caspian eastern coast of Caspian Sea and Volga delta, up to Volgograd.
Diagnosis:  This species is distinguished from its congeners by the following characters: strongly depressed head; a tubercle between eyes; numerous, densely-set granules covering whole body except abdominal area; small tubercles especially on head; tubercles in dorsal row 26-29, ventral row 21-24, upper lateral row up to 20 (smaller on caudal peduncle), in lower one 10 and are tiny; chin barbel slightly compressed with thick base, longer than half eye diameter; D1 IV; origin of D2 behind anal origin; transverse rows of neuromasts on flank usually 20-22; a dark spot often in front of D2; sides with dark blotches and irregular dots (Ref. 59043).
Biology:  Occurs in fresh and brackish waters with salinity up to 13 ppt. Maximum depth 50 m, with mature adults at 1-11 m. Lives for about a year, spawns in May-August in northern Caspian, April-November in eastern Caspian. Some individuals may spawn for the first time at 6-7 months. Females probably lay eggs in 3 portions and die after spawning while males probably die 3-4 weeks alter (Ref. 59043).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 01 January 2008 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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