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Fishes of Afghanistan provides a guide and general overview to the fish fauna of Afghanistan, comprising 85 species in 10 families. Fishes of Afghanistan has an introduction covering materials and methods, a description of the environment, a history of research, explanations of scientific names, fish structures and identification methods, and how to collect and preserve fishes. Other sections deal with fisheries, conservation, identification keys, exotic and translocated species, checklists, an analysis of biodiversity, and a bibliography. The bulk of the text is the species accounts each of which has an illustration, an explanation of common and scientific names, key characters, morphology, distribution, biology and importance.
The fauna is a mix of Palaearctic species such as sturgeons and a trout and Oriental species such as snakeheads and a spiny eel. The majority of Afghan fish, 67 species, are Cypriniformes of which 49 are Cyprinidae and 17 are Nemacheilidae (with one species in Cobitidae). The Siluriformes (Sisoridae, Siluridae, Bagridae) comprise the next largest group with 11 species. Ostariophysi therefore comprise over 91% of the ichthyofauna. The other 4 families have 1-3 species each.
Many species are poorly known and there have been few collections made in this land-locked country. A significant number of species records are from the work of John McClelland, published in 1842. It is expected that a thorough survey would reveal many new species.
Purpose of the Book 7
Materials and Methods 9
Scientific Names 52
Fish Structure and Identification 54
Collecting and Preserving Fishes 57
Identification Keys 65
Species Accounts 105
Family Acipenseridae (sturgeons) 107
Family Cyprinidae (carps and minnows) 115
Family Cobitidae (spiny loaches) 237
Family Nemacheilidae (river loaches) 241
Family Sisoridae (sisorid catfishes) 277
Family Siluridae (sheatfishes) 286
Family Bagridae (bagrid catfishes) 296
Family Salmonidae (trouts and salmons) 303
Family Mastacembelidae (spiny eels) 308
Family Channidae (snakeheads) 311
Exotic and Translocated Species 317
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