Cobitis (Cobitis levantina)

GenusCobitis (1)
SizeLength: 3.6 - 8.4 cm (2)

Cobitis levantina is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

A rare and threatened freshwater fish, Cobitis levantina 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 (2) (3).

Cobitis levantina is only found in the Litani River Basin in Lebanon and the Orontes River Basin in Syria and Turkey (1).

Cobitis levantina is found in lowland rivers and small irrigation canals with silty bottoms and only a little submerged vegetation (1).

Cobitis levantina is a little-studied species, and there is very little information available on its biology and behaviour. 

Cyprinidae species usually have quite a diverse diet, and Cobitis levantina 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).

Across its range, Cobitis levantina is rare and in decline, and it is known from only ten locations. The main threats to this species are pollution and water extraction, which are decreasing the quality of its habitat. Drought can also cause the water level in its habitat to change rapidly, and this threat may increase in frequency and severity as a result of global climate change (1).

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

Find out more about Cobitis levantina:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2011)
  2. Erkakan, F., Atalay-Ekmekçi, F.C. and Nalbant, T.T. (1999) A review of the genus Cobitis in Turkey (Pisces: Ostariophysi: Cobitidae). Hydrobiologia, 403: 13-26.
  3. FishBase - Cobitidae (May, 2011)
  4. Campbell, A. and Dawes, J. (2004) Encyclopedia of Underwater Life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.