Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 101, Issue 1, pp 193–202 | Cite as

Towards the conservation of a critically endangered species, Aphanius farsicus: embryogenesis and development

  • Nafiseh Sanjarani Vahed
  • Hamid Reza EsmaeiliEmail author
  • Mojtaba Masoudi
  • Mehregan Ebrahimi


Human-induced disturbance or anthropogenic activities, natural disturbance and also limited distribution, have forced Aphanius farsicus populations to the edge of extinction, during the past few years. As knowledge of fish ontogeny is fundamental for accurate stock assessment, and reproductive potential determination, thus for future conservation and management of the critically endangered species, we describe the first detailed normal embryonic development of this cyprinodontid fish from fertilization to post-hatching. Aphanius farsicus spontaneously spawned at 24°C. The newly-laid eggs were hyaline and spherical in shape (1.40 ± 0.02 mm, n = 11), sticky and full of egg yolk (telolecithal/macrolecithal) with oil droplets. We documented the main developmental stages at 24°C to zygote (0 h), cleavage (2 h), blastula (2 h), gastrula (17 h), segmentation, (34 h), pharyngula (100 h) and hatching (162 h).


Cyprinodontid fishes Embryogenesis Staging Organogenesis 



Especial thanks to B.W. Coad (Canadian Museum of Nature) for checking the English of an earlier draft of the MS. The research work was funded by Shiraz University and was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Biology Department (SU- 9431436).


  1. Alcaraz C, Gholami Z, Esmaeili HR, García-Berthou E (2015) Herbivory and seasonal changes in diet of a highly endemic cyprinodontid fish (Aphanius farsicus). Environ Biol Fish 98(6):1541–1554. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amin OM, Gholami Z, Akhlaghi M, Heckmann RA (2013) The description and host–parasite relationships of a new quadrigyrid species (Acanthocephala) from the Persian tooth-carp, Aphanius Farsicus (Actinoptreygii: Cyprinodontidae) in Iran. J Parasitol 99(2):257–263CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bhattacharya H, Zhang S, Wang Y (2005) Embryonic development of the rosy barb Puntius Conchonius Hamilton 1822 (Cyprinidae). Tropical. Zoology 18(1):25–37Google Scholar
  4. Casazza M et al (2016) Endangered species management and ecosystem restoration: finding the common ground. Ecol Soc 21(1)Google Scholar
  5. Coad BW (1996) Systematics of the tooth-carp genus Aphanius Nardo, 1827 (Actinopterygii: Cyprinodontidae) in Fars province, southern Iran. Biologia 51(2):163–172Google Scholar
  6. Esmaeili H, Ebrahimi M (2006) Length–weight relationships of some freshwater fishes of Iran. J Appl Ichthyol 22(4):328–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Esmaeili HR, Shiva AH (2006) Reproductive biology of the Persian tooth-carp, Aphanius persicus (Jenkins, 1910)(Cyprinodontidae), in Southern Iran. Zool Middle East 37(1):39–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Esmaeili HR, Piravar Z, Shiva A (2007) Karyological analysis of two endemic tooth-carps, Aphanius persicus and Aphanius sophiae (Pisces: Cyprinodontidae), from Southwest Iran. Turk J Zool 31(1):69–74Google Scholar
  9. Esmaeili HR, Ebrahimi M, Saifali M (2008) Karyological analysis of five tooth-carps (Actinopterygii: Cyprinodontidae) from Iran. Micron 39(2):95–100CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Esmaeili HR, Masoudi M, Ebrahimi M, Amir E (2016) Review of Aphanius farsicus: a critically endangered species (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) in Iran. Iranian. J Ichthyol 3(1):1–18Google Scholar
  11. Essner JJ, Amack JD, Nyholm MK, Harris EB, Yost HJ (2005) Kupffer's vesicle is a ciliated organ of asymmetry in the zebrafish embryo that initiates left-right development of the brain, heart and gut. Development 132(6):1247–1260CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Gholami Z, Esmaeili HR, Erpenbeck D, Reichenbacher B (2014) Phylogenetic analysis of Aphanius from the endorheic Kor River basin in the Zagros Mountains, South-western Iran (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes: Cyprinodontidae). J Zool Syst Evol Res 52(2):130–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gholami Z, Esmaeili HR, Erpenbeck D, Reichenbacher B (2015a) Genetic connectivity and phenotypic plasticity in the cyprinodont Aphanius farsicus from the Maharlu Basin, south-western Iran. J Fish Biol 86(3):882–906. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Gholami Z, Esmaeili HR, Reichenbacher B (2015b) New data on the zoogeography of Aphanius sophiae (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) in the central Zagros (Southwest Iran). Limnologica-Ecol Manag Inland Waters 51:70–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. González-Solís D, Moravec F, Coad BW (1997) Some nematode parasites of fishes from southwestern Iran. Zool Middle East 15(1):113–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kimmel CB, Ballard WW, Kimmel SR, Ullmann B, Schilling TF (1995) Stages of embryonic development of the zebrafish. Dev Dyn 203(3):253–310CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kroll W (1984) Morphological and behavioral embryology and spontaneous diapause in the African killifish, Aphyosemion Gardneri. Environ Biol Fish 11(1):21–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mokhayer B (1989) Fish Diplostomiasis in Iran. J Vet Fac Univ Tehran 44(2):11–18Google Scholar
  19. Poff NL, Allan JD, Bain MB, Karr JR, Prestegaard KL, Richter BD, Sparks RE, Stromberg JC (1997) The natural flow regime. BioScience 47(11):769–784Google Scholar
  20. Poiani KA, Richter BD, Anderson MG, Richter HE (2000) Biodiversity conservation at multiple scales: functional sites, landscapes, and networks. Bioscience 50(2):133–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sezen S, Olmez M (2012) Production of Aphanius mento (Heckel, 1843) under controlled conditions. Aquaric Aquat Conserv Legis-Int J Bioflux Soc (AACL Bioflux) 5(2):94–98Google Scholar
  22. Teimori A, Esmaeili HR, Reichenbacher B (2011) Aphanius farsicus, a replacement name for A. persicus (Jenkins, 1910) (Teleostei, Cyprinodontidae). Zootaxa 3096:53–58Google Scholar
  23. Teimori A, Schulz-Mirbach T, Esmaeili HR, Reichenbacher B (2012) Geographical differentiation of Aphanius dispar (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) from southern Iran. J Zool Syst Evol Res 50(4):289–304. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Venter O, Brodeur NN, Nemiroff L, Belland B, Dolinsek IJ, Grant JW (2006) Threats to endangered species in Canada. Bioscience 56(11):903–910CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wilcove DS, Rothstein D, Dubow J, Phillips A, Losos E (1998) Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States assessing the relative importance of habitat destruction, alien species, pollution, overexploitation, and disease. Bioscience 48(8):607–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wourms JP (1972) The developmental biology of annual fishes. III. Pre-embryonic and embryonic diapause of variable duration in the eggs of annual fishes. J Exp Zool 182(3):389–414CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Developmental Biosystematics Research Laboratory, Zoology Section, College of SciencesShiraz UniversityShirazIran
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Palaeontology & GeobiologyMunichGermany

Personalised recommendations