Paraschistura cristata (Berg, 1898)
Turkmenian crested loach
photo by Salnikov, V.B.

Family:  Nemacheilidae (Brook loaches)
Max. size:  9.3 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 4.3 g
Environment:  benthopelagic; freshwater
Distribution:  Asia: Hari drainage in Afghanistan, Iran and Turkmenistan as well as from streams flowing down from the Kopedag to the Karakum desert in Turkmenistan.
Diagnosis:  Paraschistura cristata can be distinguished from its congeners in Iran by the possession of a prominent dorsal adipose crest supported by 22-25 procurrent rays of the caudal fin (vs. adipose crest absent, if present, not supported by procurrent rays), a complete lateral line (vs. incomplete) and the large size of adults, usually reaching 70 mm SL (vs. rarely more than 50 mm SL in the other species). The following additional characters are useful to identify P. cristata: presence of 9-13 brown bars usually faded or absent on flank in front of dorsal-fin origin, regularly shaped and wider than interspaces or dissociated into blotches and irregularly shaped bars; absence of suborbital groove or flap in males; dorsal fin usually with 8 1/2 branched rays; spot at base of first dorsal-fin rays bold; pelvic fin reaching to or slightly in front of anus (Ref. 103390).
IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (N.E.) Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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