Barbus balcanicus Kotlík, Tsigenopoulos, Ráb & Berrebi, 2002
Danube barbel
Barbus balcanicus
photo by Kohout, J.

Family:  Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps), subfamily: Barbinae
Max. size:  17.5 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; freshwater
Distribution:  Europe: Adriatic basin: Soca drainage (Italy, Slovenia). Danube drainage: upper Save, Archar, Krupaja, Vlasinsko and Nera systems, possibly more widespread in upper Danube drainage. Aegean basin: Gallikos, Vardar, Loudias and Aliakmon drainages (Greece, Macedonia).
Diagnosis:  Differs from other species of Barbus and Luciobarbus in Danube drainage, Adriatic basin and Balkan Peninsula by having the following characters: last simple ray weak, not serrated posteriorly; lower lip thick with a short median lobe; 49-57 + 3-4 scales on lateral line; usually 9-12 scale rows between lateral line and dorsal origin; 8-10 scale rows between lateral line and pelvic origin; top of head with conspicuous black dots or spots, about size of pupil; cheek and opercle with dark dots; paired fins with dark spots, at least dark pigments on rays forming 1-2 dark bars; body with dark dots and blotches much darker than background; caudal with elongate spots longer than pupil diameter; simple pelvic ray distinctly shorter than second branched ray. Some populations from the Gallikos, Aliakmon and lower Vardar which possibly represent introgression with Barbus strumicae or a different species possess a longer dorsal with slightly concave margin, last simple dorsal ray granulous posteriorly along part of its length, a longer anal, and pointed caudal lobes. Molecular characters are mainly used to diagnose this species and separating this species from Barbus carpathicus Barbus petenyi in the field would be difficult (Ref. 59043)
Biology:  Adults inhabit fast to moderate-flowing premontane and montane streams and small rivers with gravel bottom. Found most abundantly in rapids and riffles during the day. Spawn in riffles. Attain up to about 17.5 cm SL (Ref. 59043).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 01 January 2008 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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