Cobitis (Cobitis turcica)

Cobitis turcica
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Cobitis fact file

Cobitis description

GenusCobitis (1)

A rare, threatened, freshwater fish, Cobitis turcica is a peculiar looking species with an elongated body and several barbels beneath the short head. Like other members of the family Cobitidae, Cobitis levantina has a strong spine under each eye, a slightly arched mouth and very finely furrowed lips (3) (4).

Maximum length: 8.1 cm (2)

Cobitis biology

A little-studied species, there is very little information available on the biology and behaviour of Cobitis turcica

Cyprinidae species usually have quite a diverse diet, and Cobitis turcica is likely to feed on a variety of insects, crustaceans, molluscs and some plant material. Members of the Cyprinidae family lack teeth in the jaws, but most have a pair of enlarged bones in the throat which possess structures known as ‘pharyngeal teeth’, used to process food (4).


Cobitis range

Cobitis turcica is only found in the Central Anatolia wetlands in Turkey (1).


Cobitis habitat

Cobitis turcica inhabits lakes, rivers and marshes (1).


Cobitis status

Cobitis turcica is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered


Cobitis threats

The distribution of Cobitis turcica can be split into five separate populations, all of which are under threat and in decline. Drought and water pollution are the main threats, while competition with introduced species, including Sander lucioperca, is also thought to be affecting this species. In total, Cobitis turcica is thought to occupy an area no greater than 500 square kilometres (1).


Cobitis conservation

Cobitis turcica has not been the target of any known conservation measures.



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Fleshy projections near the mouth of some aquatic vertebrates.
Diverse group of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton, characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, woodlice and barnacles.
A diverse group of invertebrates, mainly marine, that have one or all of the following; a horny, toothed ribbon in the mouth (the radula), a shell covering the upper surface of the body, and a mantle or mantle cavity with a type of gill. Includes snails, slugs, shellfish, octopuses and squid.


  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2011)
  2. FishBase - Cobitis turcica (May, 2011)
  3. FishBase - Cobitidae (May, 2011)
  4. Campbell, A. and Dawes, J. (2004) Encyclopedia of Underwater Life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Image credit

Cobitis turcica  
Cobitis turcica

© Prof. Dr. Füsun Erk'akan

Prof. Dr. Füsun Erk'akan
Tel: +90 3122978034
Fax: +90 3122992028


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