Cobitis vardarensis Karaman, 1928
Vardar spined loach
Cobitis vardarensis
photo by Sediva, A.

Family:  Cobitidae (Spined loaches)
Max. size:  11 cm TL (male/unsexed); 9 cm SL (female)
Environment:  benthopelagic; freshwater; brackish
Distribution:  Europe: Aegean Sea basin from Pinios to Gallikos drainages (Greece and Macedonia). Asia: Turkey.
Diagnosis:  Pigmentation (Gambetta's longitudinal zone of pigmentation): zone Z4 with 13-24 well separated spots; zone Z3 wider than zone Z2, comprising several rows of small dots; dark spot at caudal base clearly visible. One lamina circularis.
Biology:  Found in still waters of lakes, oxbows and backwaters on mud to silt bottom, rarely in flowing water (Ref. 59043). Also occur in marshlands, lowland rivers with little current, springs and associated wetlands (Ref. 26100). A short-lived species. Oviparous, with distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Can be diagnosed from Cobitis elongatoides and Cobitis pontica only by chromosome characters. They cannot be distinguished in the field, except by origin (Ref. 59043). Is threatened due to water abstraction and pollution (Ref. 26100). Current assessment of threat reduced to least concern (Ref. 59043).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 01 January 2008 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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