Aphanius vladykovi

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Aphanius vladykovi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cyprinodontiformes
Family: Cyprinodontidae
Genus: Aphanius
Species: A. vladykovi
Binomial name
Aphanius vladykovi
Coad, 1988

The Zagros pupfish (Aphanius vladykovi) is an endemic species found in a restricted area of the central Zagros Mountains of Iran and is an attractive species for keeping in aquaria.

Its name in Persian is ماهی پرچمی (mahi-e parchami) [flagfish] or ماهی گورخری زاگرس (mahi-e gour-e khari-e Zagros), which means Zagros zebrafish.[1] Little information on this species beyond the original description and some brief biological observations is available.

This species is a close relative of Aphanius sophiae, but characterised by a higher lateral line scale counts and by its color pattern: males have darker coloration on the dorsal fin and a lighter one on the anal fin. Females lack the typical, large, lozenge-shaped spot at the base of the caudal fin seen in A. sophiae.

The stomach content of this fish consists mostly of freshwater crustaceans and the relative length of the gut suggests a carnivorous habit. The eggs have an average diameter of 1 mm and the average absolute and relative fecundity is 415 and 110, respectively. The gonadosomatic ratio and ovary condition suggests that the reproductive season of the species is between late March and June with a peak in early April. The species is euryhaline and eurythermal and prefers neutral to basic waters. It is usually found in well-oxygenated waters, but is tolerant to hypoxia, as well.