New Valencia described from Greece

New Valencia from Greece: Likely to be Critically Endangered and a high ranked EDGE species

The killifishes oft he family Valenciidae are the only fish family endemic Europe and the Mediterranean basin, and the recent description of a new member brings the total number of species to three. This trio forms the family’s only genus Valencia and all members are Critically-Endangered with very restricted natural ranges within which they have been subjected to extensive habitat degradation and competition with introduced species. Valencia hispanica is found only in a handful of localities along the Mediterranean coastline of Spain and V. letourneuxi occurs in few sites in northwestern Greece and southern Albania. Geiger et al. (2014) have calculated the EDGE scores for almost all Mediterranean freshwater fishes and Valencia’s represent the species with the highest EDGE scores. This means, that Valencia’s are within the group of species with the highest conservation priority if we follow the philosophy of EDGE. Valencia robertae immediately joins this group and makes the conservation situation for V. letourneuxi even worse, as one of the most important populations has now been split from this species. Valencia robertae was known from three sites but is actually known with certainty only from the lower Mornos River in mainland Greece. It is already extirpated in the Alfios River and might be extirpated at the type locality at the lower Pinios River in Peloponnes and the species is indeed described based on captive fishes from a stock collected in the 1990th.

For further information refer to the full, open access paper: Freyhof, J., H. Kärst and M. Geiger, 2014. Valencia robertae, a new killifish from southern Greece (Cyprinodontiformes: Valenciidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters v. 24 (no. 4): 289-298.