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Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Osteichthyes
Classis: Actinopterygii
Subclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Superordo: Ostariophysi
Ordo: Cypriniformes
Subordo: Cyprinoidea
Familia: Cyprinidae
Subfamilia: Garrinae
Genus: Garra
Species: G. apogon - G. bourreti - G. caudofasciatus - G. findolabium - G. gracilis - G. imberba - G. laichowensis - G. micropulvinus - G. orientalis - G. robustus


Feng-Lian Li, Wei Zhou & Qiang Fu, 2008, Zootaxa 1743: 62-68 [1]

Garra, the garras, are a genus of ray-finned fish in the family Cyprinidae. These fish are one example of the "log suckers", sucker-mouthed barbs and other cyprinids commonly kept in aquaria to keep down algae. The doctor fish of Kangal (Turkey) also belongs into this genus.

The genus was established by Francis Buchanan-Hamilton in 1822 as a subgenus of Cyprinus (which at that time was a "wastebin genus" for carp-like cyprinids); he did not designate a type species. But as no other garras except the newly-discovered G. lamta were known to science in 1822, this was designated as the type species by Pieter Bleeker in 1863. The garras and their closest relatives are sometimes placed in a subfamily Garrinae, but this seems hardly warranted. More often, this group is included in the Labeoninae, or together with these in the Cyprininae. In the former case, the garras are members of the labeonine tribe Garrini, in the latter they are in the subtribe Garraina of tribe Labeonini. The genus Discogobio is a close relative.[1]

Description and ecology

Garras are slim cyprinids with a flat belly and a sucking mouth; their shape indicates that they are at least in tendency rheophilic. They are distinguished other cyprinids by a combination of features: As in their closest relatives, their lower lip is expanded at its posterior rim to form a round or oval sucking pad, the vomero-palatine organ is much reduced or completely lost, the pectoral fins have at least the first two rays enlarged and udually unbranched, the supraethmoid is wider than long when seen from above, and the cleithrum is narrow and elongated to the front.[1]

From other Garrini (or Garraina), the genus Garra can be distinguished as follows: their pharyngeal teeth are arranged in three rows (like 2,4,5–5,4,2), the dorsal fin has 10-11 rays and starts slightly anterior to the pelvic fins, while the anal fin starts well behind the pelvic fins and has 8-9 rays. As far as is known, the diploid karyotype of garras is 2n = 50.[1]

Garras are not or barely noticeably sexually dimorphic and generally cryptically coloured benthic freshwater fish. They are omnivorous, eating alga, plankton and small invertebrates that they suck off substrate like rocks or logs. The food is scraped off with the sharp keratinized borders of the jaws, and ingested via suction, created by contracting and relaxing the buccopharynx. As typical for Cypriniformes, the garras lack a stomach entirely, their oesophagus leading directly to the sphincter of the intestine. Different Garra species eat animal and vegetable matter in different proportions, which can – as typical for vertebrates – usually be recognized by the length of their intestine compared to related species: more herbivorous species have a longer intestine. Indeed, intestzinal length in this genus is remarkably constant within species and varies a lot between species, meaning that it is useful to distinguish species and that dietary shifts have played a significant role in the evolution of garras.[1]

When the females are ready to spawn, they are markedly plum and swollen; the ripe roe may fill almost four-fifths of their body cavity. The testicles of reproductive males are large too. The average Garra egg is 1.77 mm in diameter, and a clutch contains several hundred eggs – up to a thousand or so in large females. The breeding behaviour is generally not well known and breeding is not often achieved in the aquarium; presumably, like many of their relatives they migrate upstream or (if they otherwise inhabit lakes) into the rivers to spawn.[1]

About 100 species of Garra were accepted in 2010. Some 2–3 new species are being described every year on average.[2]
The Cambodian Logsucker (Garra cambodgiensis) resembles the Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis)

* Garra aethiopica
* Garra allostoma
* Garra annandalei – Annandale Garra
* Garra apogon
* Garra arupi
* Garra barreimiae
* Garra bibarbatus
* Garra bicornuta – Tunga Garra
* Garra bisangularis Chen, Wu & Xiao, 2010
* Garra bispinosa
* Garra blanfordii
* Garra borneensis
* Garra bourreti
* Garra buettikeri
* Garra cambodgiensis – Cambodian Logsucker, Stonelapping Minnow, False Siamese Algae Eater
* Garra caudofasciatus
* Garra ceylonensis – Ceylon Logsucker, Stone Sucker
* Garra chebera Habteselassie, Mikschi, Ahnelt & Waidbacher, 2010
* Garra compressus
* Garra congoensis – Congo Logsucker
* Garra cryptonemus
* Garra cyclostomata
* Garra cyrano
* Garra dembecha
* Garra dembeensis – Cameroon Logsucker, Dembea Stonelapper
* Garra dunsirei
* Garra duobarbis
* Garra elongata
* Garra ethelwynnae
* Garra fasciacauda
* Garra findolabium
* Garra fisheri
* Garra flavatra
* Garra fuliginosa
* Garra geba
* Garra ghorensis – Jordanian Logsucker
* Garra gotyla – Sucker Head, Nilgiris Garra
* Garra gracilis
* Garra gravelyi
* Garra hainanensis
* Garra hughi – Cardamon Garra
* Garra ignestii
* Garra imbarbatus
* Garra imberba
* Garra imberbis
* Garra kalakadensis
* Garra kempi – Kemp Garra
* Garra laichowensis
* Garra lamta
* Garra lancrenonensis
* Garra lissorhynchus – Khasi Garra
* Garra litanensis
* Garra longipinnis
* Garra makiensis
* Garra mamshuqa
* Garra manipurensis
* Garra mcclellandi – Cauvery Garra
* Garra menoni
* Garra micropulvinus
* Garra mirofrontis
* Garra mullya – Mullya Garra
* Garra naganensis – Naga Garra
* Garra nambulica
* Garra nasuta – Nose Logsucker
* Garra nigricollis
* Garra notata – Tenasserim Garra
* Garra nujiangensis
* Garra orientalis
* Garra ornata (= G. waterloti sensu auct.)
* Garra paralissorhynchus
* Garra periyarensis
* Garra persica
* Garra phillipsi – Philipps' Garra
* Garra poecilura
* Garra poilanei
* Garra propulvinus
* Garra qiaojiensis
* Garra quadrimaculata
* Garra rakhinica
* Garra regressus
* Garra robustus
* Garra rossica
* Garra rotundinasus
* Garra rufa – Reddish Logsucker, Doctor Fish
* Garra rupecula – Mishmi Garra
* Garra sahilia
* Garra salweenica
* Garra smarti
* Garra spilota
* Garra surendranathanii
* Garra tana
* Garra tengchongensis
* Garra theunensis
* Garra trewavasai
* Garra variabilis
* Garra vittatula
* Garra wanae
* Garra waterloti (Pellegrin 1935)
* Garra yiliangensis


1. ^ a b c d e Stiassny & Getahun (2007)
2. ^ Fishbase [2009]


* FishBase [2011]: Garra species. Retrieved 2011-FEB-10.
* Stiassny, Melanie L.J. & Getahun, Abebe (2007): An overview of labeonin relationships and the phylogenetic placement of the Afro-Asian genus Garra Hamilton, 1922 (Teleostei: Cyprinidae), with the description of five new species of Garra from Ethiopia, and a key to all African species. Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 150(1): 41-83. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2007.00281.x PDF fulltext

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