Sasanidus, a new generic name for Noemacheilus kermanshahensis Bănărescu & Nalbant, with discussion of Ilamnemacheilus and Schistura (Teleostei; Nemacheilidae)
Sasanidus, new genus, is described for Noemacheilus kermanshahensis Bănărescu & Nalbant, endemic to the Karkheh and Karun drainages in Iran. Sasanidus kermanshahensis was initially identified as a species in Oxynoemacheilus, from which it is distinguished by the absence of an external sexual dimorphism (i.e. longer pectoral fin, and nuptial tubercles on fins, head and back in males). Sasanidus is distinguished from all other genera of Nemacheilidae in the Middle East by a combination of the following character states: pelvic-fin origin behind of a vertical of the dorsal-fin origin, anus about one eye diameter in front of the anal-fin origin, dorsal adipose keel absent, a high crest on the bony capsule of the swim bladder present and colour pattern marbled or mottled or with an irregularly shaped midlateral stripe. Ilamnemacheilus longipinnis was examined and no difference could be found between Ilamnemacheilus and Oxynoemacheilus. Therefore, Ilamnemacheilus is treated as a synonym of Oxynoemacheilus. COI barcode sequences from all nemacheilid loach genera occurring in the Middle East and western India are analysed jointly for the first time. The view that Schistura is a paraphyletic assemblage is supported by the clustering of DNA sequences from 45 specimens placed in at least 20 species in the genus Schistura analysed here.