Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 August 2016 | 8(9): 9195–9197





A second record of Knipowitschia byblisia Ahnelt, 2011 (Teleostei: Perciformes: Gobiidae) from southwestern Anatolia, Turkey


H. Ahnelt 1,2

1 University of Vienna, Department of Theoretical Biology, Althanstrasse 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria

2 Natural History Museum in Vienna, Ichthyology Collection, Burgring 7, 1010 Vienna, Austria




doi: | ZooBank:


Editor: Jörg Freyhof, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany. Date of publication: 26 August 2016 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # 2055 | Received 23 January 2016 | Final received 11 August 2016 | Finally accepted 14 August 2016


Citation: Ahnelt, H. (2016). A second record of Knipowitschia byblisia Ahnelt, 2011 (Teleostei: Perciformes: Gobiidae) from southwestern Anatolia, Turkey. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(9): 9195–9197;


Copyright: © Ahnelt 2016. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: Self-funded.


Conflict of Interest: The author declares no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: Technical support was provided by D. Ramler. The English was corrected by T. Peterson.








Abstract: Knipowitschia byblisia Ahnelt, 2011 is only known from the single record from the small coastal brackish lake Köycegiz, Turkey. The present record from a brook in the city of Marmaris (Province Mugla, southwestern Turkey) is the second record of this dwarf goby. This is the western most record of this species, the first outside of the Köycegiz-Dalyan watershed and the first from fresh waters.


Keywords: Freshwater, Gobiidae, Knipowitschia byblisia, mediterra-nean region, Turkey.

Abbreviations: D - posterior interorbital pore; E - dorsal postorbital pore; F - ventral postorbital pore; SL - standard length.




Five species of the genus Knipowitschia Iljin, 1927 occur in western and southern continental Anatolia. Three species are known from the Anatolian Aegean watershed: Knipowitschia caucasica (Berg, 1916), K. ephesi Ahnelt, 1995 and K. mermere Ahnelt, 1995; two species from the Anatolian Mediterranean Sea watershed, K. byblisia Ahnelt, 2011 and K. caunosi Ahnelt, 2011 (Ahnelt 1995, 2011; van Neer 1999; Fricke et al. 2007) (Fig. 1). Except for K. caucasica all of the species listed above are endemic in western and southwestern Anatolia and known only from isolated habitats (Ahnelt et al. 1995; Ahnelt 1995, 2011; Turan et al. 2005).

Knipowitschia byblisia is only known from Lake Köycegiz, an enclosed water body and a highly sensitive and vulnerable ecosystem (Bann & Basak 2013; Baloch et al. 2015). This goby was recently listed from the outflow of Lake Köycegiz (Geiger et al. 2015).

This study reports a new record of K. byblisia, the first record from fresh water, the first from outside of the Köycegiz-Dalyan watershed and the western most appearance of this species from the sand goby group.

Materials examined

Naturhistorisches Museum in Wien, NMW 98608,14, one male, 18.3mm SL; three females, 25.7–26.3 mm SL; 10 juveniles, 9.0–16.9 mm SL; 14 April 1964, small brook in Marmaris (36051’N & 28016’E), southwestern Turkey; Josef Eiselt (Table 1; Image 1).






Knipowitschia differs from all other species of the genus by the following combination of characters: (1) Canals of the head lateral line system reduced to two short postorbital canals not fused in lateral midline; (2) squamation is reduced to two patches in the axillary area and on the caudal peduncle respectively, unconnected or connected by a narrow band of scales along lateral midline; (3) caudal peduncle immediately anterior to the caudal fin naked; (4) first dorsal fin with six to seven rays. The variability of the head lateral line canals and of the squamation is shown in Table 1.




There are many threats to the fresh water fish fauna of the coastal areas of continental western Anatolia, e.g., agriculture, hydro power stations, pollution, and increasing tourism (e.g., Innal & Erk’akan 2006; Yilmaz et al. 2006). Additionally, the introduction of alien species is a threat (e.g., Barlas & Dirizan 2004; Innal & Erk’akan 2006; Taseli 2009; Özdemir et al. 2015; Tarkan et al. 2015). Nevertheless, K. byblisia has been recently assessed against the IUCN Red List Categories based on the assumption that “there seems to be no or very few threats (current or potential) in Lake Köycegiz drainage affecting this species” (Freyhof 2014). Environmental pressures on Lake Köycegiz and its tributaries are manifold. They are attributed to agricultural run-off and untreated human waste (Orhan & Scheumann 2011; Bann & Basak 2013; Özelik 2015), to habitat destruction by reed belt fragmentation due to intentional burning and to increasing siltation of the lake due to erosion caused by deforestation and sand mining in rivers discharging into the lake (Bann & Basak 2013) and to the introduction of various fish species (Innal et Erk’akan 2006; Yilmaz et al. 2006). However, the the conservation status of both endemic Knipowitschia species should be re-studied.

It is interesting to note that the confirmed records of K. byblisia are based on museum material (Ahnelt 2011, this study). This highlights the importance of Natural History Museums not only as institutions crucial for the documentation of biodiversity but also important for conservation. This is especially evident in the case of K. byblisia, which is seemingly easily confused with K. caucasica, a congener repeatedly introduced in different European freshwater bodies and generally classified there as invasive (van Neer 1999; Innal et Erk’akan 2006; Harka et al. 2013; Tarkan et al. 2015). Confusion or misidentification of Knipowitschia species native to western and southwestern Turkey, such as K. mermere, K. ephesi, K. caunosi and K. byblisia with the introduced K. caucasica could therefore lead to an unintended (and tragic) threat by conservation management.


Ahnelt, H. (1995). Two new species of Knipowitschia from Western Anatolia (Turkey). Mitteilungen des Hamburger Zoologischen Museums und Instituts 92: 155–167.

Ahnelt, H. (2011). Two new sympatric Knipowitschia species (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from an eastern Mediterranean coastal lake - examples of different dispersal pattern? Zootaxa 3114: 22–30.

Ahnelt, H., P.G. Bianco & H. Schwammer (1995). Systematics and zoogeography of Knipowitschia caucasica (Teleostei: Gobiidae) based on new records from the Aegean Anatolian area. Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwaters 6: 49–60.

Baloch, M.A., D.P. Ames & A. Tanik (2015). Hydrological impacts of climate and land-use change on Namnam Stream in Koycegiz Watershed, Turkey. International Journal of Environmental Sciences and Technology 12: 1481–1494;

Bann, C. & E. Basak (2013). Economic analysis of Köycegiz-Dalyan Special Environmental Protection Area. Project PIMS 3697: Strengthening the System of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas of Turkey. Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Technical Report Series 12: 52pp.

Barlas, M. & S. Dirican (2004). The fish fauna of the Dipsize-Cine (Mugla-Aydin) stream. Gazi University Journal of Science 17: 35–48.

Freyhof, J. (2014). Knipowitschia byblisia. In: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 06 May 2016;

Fricke, R., M. Bilecenoglu & H.M. Sari (2007). Annotated checklist of fish and lamprey species (Gnathostomata and Petromyzontomorphi) of Turkey, including a Red List of threatened and declining species. Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde 706: 1–174.

Geiger, M.F., F. Herder, M.T. Monaghan, V. Almada, R. Barbieri, M. Bariche, P. Berrebi, J. Bohlen, M. Casal-Lopez, G.B. Delmastro, G.P.J. Denys, A. Dettai, I. Doadrio, E. Kalogianni, H. Kärst, M. Kottelat, M. Kovacic, M. Laporte, M. Lorenzoni, Z. Marcic, M. Özulug, A. Perdices, S. Perera, H. Persat, S. Porcelotti, C. Puzzi, J. Robalo, R. Sanda, M. Schneider, V. Slechtova, M. Stroumboudi, S. Walter & J. Freyhof (2014.) Spatial heterogeneity in the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot affects barcoding accuracy of its freshwater fishes. Molecular Ecology Resources 14: 1210–1221;

Harka, A., R. Sanda, & B. Halasi-Kovacs (2013). Appearance of a new invasive gobiid species in the Tisza river: the Caucasian Dwarf Goby Knipowitschia caucasica (Berg, 1916), and first results of morphological and genetic study of the population. Pisces Hungarici 7: 5–11.

Innal, D. & F. Er’kakan (2006). Effects of exotic and translocated fish species in the inland waters of Turkey. Reviews of Fish Biology and Fisheries 16: 39–50;

Orhan, G. & W. Scheumann (2011). Turkey’s policy for combating water pollution, pp. 17–138. In: Kibaroglu, A., W. Scheumann & A. Kramer (eds.). Turkeys Water Policy. Springer Brlin, Heielberg, 408pp.

Özdemir, N., A.S. Tarkan, S. Agdamar, N. Top & U. Karakus (2015). Ecological requirements and distribution of native and introduced freshwater fishes in a Mediterranean-type basin (Mugla, SW Turkey). Fresenius Environmental Bulletin 24: 3–13.

Özelik, O. (2015). Assessment and prediction of water quality parameters in Lake Köycegiz using artificial neural network approach. Master thesis, Department of Environmental Engeneering, Middle East Techical University, Ankara, Turkey, xvii+148pp.

Tarkan, A.S., S.M. Marr & F.G. Ekmekci (2015). Non-native and translocated freshwater species in Turkey. FISHMED Fishes in Mediterranean Environments 2015.003: 28p.

Taseli, B.K. (2009). Response of lake water quality to wastewater inputs from land-based fish farm located on Yuvarlakcay creek in Köycegiz-Dalayan specially protected area. Environmental Monitoring Assessment 157: 557–574;

Turan, D., S. Berber, T. Topkara & B. Verep (2005). A first record (Knipowitschia longicaudata (Kessler, 1877)) for the fish fauna of Lake Manyas. Turkish Journal of Zoology 29: 171–176.

van Neer, W., R.H. Wildekamp, F. Kücük & M. Unlüsayin (1999). First inland records of the euryhalin goby Knipowitschia caucasica from lakes in Anatolia. Journal of Fish Biology 54: 1334–1337.

YIlmaz, F., M.M. Barlas, B. Yorulmaz & N. Özdemir (2006). A taxonomical study on the inland water fishes of Mugla. Ege University Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 23: 27–30;