Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access


Making future taxonomy of Niphargus (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Niphargidae) in the Middle East easier: DELTA database of Middle East species with description of four new species from Iran



Four new species from the amphipod genus Niphargus are described, namely N. borisi sp. nov., N. bisitunicus sp. nov., N. darvishi sp. nov. and N. sharifi sp. nov. All four species of this predominantly subterranean genus were collected from springs in the Western region of Iran (Zagros region), which is the eastern borderline of the genus range. The species are morphologically diagnosed, described and illustrated. With these newly described species, the total number of Niphargus species in the Middle East reaches twenty-three. In order to facilitate the identification of Niphargus species in the region and to make future taxonomy of the genus easier, we have compiled a database in DEscription Language for TAxonomy (DELTA) using 23 diagnostic traits for these 23 species and subspecies identified in the Middle East. The database is available on the web as supplementary material whereas the dichotomous identification key automatically generated from the database for routine use is provided as a part of the paper.



Crustacea, Niphargus, taxonomy, subterranean environment, Iran

Full Text:

PDF/A (2.06 MB)


Alouf, N. (1972) Description d’un nouvel amphipode Gammaride´ des eaux souterraines du Liban, Niphargus nadarini n. sp.. Annales de Spéléologie, 27, 547–558.

Alouf, N. (1973) Biotope et description de Niphargus altagahizi n. sp., Amphipode Gammaridé souterrain du Liban. International Journal of Speleology, 5, 49–61.

Andreev, S. & Kenderov, L. (2012) Sur une nouvelle espèce du genre Niphargus de la Turquie –Niphargus turcicus n.sp. (Amphipoda, Niphargidae). Historia Naturalis Bulgarica, 20, 47–56.

Bousfield, E.L. (1977) A new look at the systematics of gammaridean amphipods of the world. Crustaceana supplement, 4, 282–316.

Dobreanu, E. & Manolache, C. (1933) Beitrag zur kenntnis der Amphipoden Rumniens. Notationes Biologicae, 1, 103–108.

Dudich, E. (1941) Niphargus aus einer Therme von Budapest, Annales Musei Nationalis Hungarici. Pars Zoologica, 34, 165–176.

Esmaeili-Rineh, S. & Sari, A. (2013) Two new species of Niphargus Schiödte, 1849 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Niphargidae) from two caves in Iran. Journal of Natural History, 47, 2649–2669.

Esmaeili-Rineh, S., Sari, A., Delić, T., Moškrič, A. & Fišer, C. (2015) Molecular Phylogeny of the Subterranean Genus Niphargus (Crustacea: Amphipoda) in the Middle East: A Comparison with European Niphargids. Zoological Journal of the Linneana Society.

Fišer, C., Trontelj, P., Luštrik, R. & Sket, B. (2009a) Toward a unified taxonomy of Niphargus (Crustacea: Amphipoda): a review of morphological variability. Zootaxa, 2061, 1–22.

Fišer, C., Çamur-Elipek, B. & Özbek, M. (2009b) The subterranean genus Niphargus (Crustacea, Amphipoda) in the Middle East: a faunistic overview with descriptions of two new species. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 248, 137–150.

Ford, D. & Williams, P. (2007) Karst hydrogeology and geomorphology. Wiley, Chichester, 562 pp.

Gibert, J., Danielopol, D.L. & Stanford, J.A. (1994) Groundwater ecology. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 571 pp.

Hekmatara, M., Zakšek, V., Heidari, M.B. & Fišer, C. (2013) Two new species of Niphargus (Crustacea: Amphipoda) from Iran. Journal of Natural History, 47, 1421–1449.

Karaman, S. (1932) Beitrag zur Kenntnis der Süßwasser– Amphipoden. Prirodoslovne razprave, 2, 179–232.

Karaman, S. (1950) Amphipoda Male Azije I. O nekim amfipodima - izopodima Balkana i o njihovoj sistematici[CLXIII], 1950. Srpska Akademija nauka, Beograd, 10 pp. [pp. 33–42, Posebna izdanja. Odjeljenje Prirodno matematičkih nauka. Ref Type: Serial (Book,Monograph)]

Karaman, S. (1952) Podrod Stygoniphargus u Sloveniji i Hrvatskoj, Poseban otisak iz 25. knjige Prirodoslovnih istraživanja. Academia Scientiarum et Artium Slavorum Meridionalium, 1, 5–38.

Karaman, G.S. (1984) Revision of the Niphargus orcinus-group, part I. (fam. Niphargidae) (Contribution to the Knowledge of the Amphipoda 130). The Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts: Glasnik of the Section of Natural Sciences, 4, 7–79.

Karaman, G.S. (1985) Contribution to the knowledge of the Amphipoda 146. Niphargus bodoni, n. sp. and N. pescei G. Kar. in Italy (fam. Niphargidae). Fragmenta Balcanica, 12, 81–93.

Karaman, G.S. (1986) First discovery of genus Niphargus Sch. in Iraq, Israel and adjacent regions, with description of N. itus, new Species (Fam. Niphargidae) (contribution to the knowledge of the Amphipoda 153). Poljoprivreda i šumarstvo, 32, 13–36.

Karaman, G.S. (1998) First discovery of the family Niphargidae (Gammaridea) in Iran (contribution to the knowledge of the Amphipoda 243). Glas Od Prir Nauka–Crnog Akad Nauka Umjet, 12, 9–22.

Karaman, G.S. (2012a) New data of the subterranean family Niphargidae (Amphipoda, Gammaroidea) from Turkey. Natura Montenegrina, 11, 53–71.

Karaman, G.S. (2012b) Further studies on genus Niphargus Schiödte, 1849 (fam. Niphargidae) from the Near East (contribution to the knowledge of the Amphipoda 260). Agriculture and Forestry, 55, 49–74.

Karaman, G.S. (2012c) New species Niphargus religiosus, sp. n. (Fam. Niphargidae), with remarks to Amathillina cristata G.O. Sars, 1894 (Fam. Gammaridae) in Turkey (Contribution to the Knowledge of the Amphipoda 257). Agriculture and Forestry, 53, 49–76.

Karaman, G.S. (2012d) New studies in the subterranean fauna of Turkey (Contribution to the knowledge of the Amphipoda 258). Natura Montenegrina, 11, 35–52.

Latreille, P.A. (1816) Amphipoda. In: Nouveau Dictionaire d'histoire naturelle, appliquée aux Arts, à l'Agriculture, à l'Économie rurale et domestique, à la Médecine, etc. Par une société de Naturalistes et d'Agriculteurs. Vol. 1. 2nd Edition. Deterville, Paris, pp. 467–469.

Lowry, J.K & Myers A.A. (2013) A phylogeny and Classification of the Senticaudata subord. nov. (Crustacea: Amphipoda). Zootaxa, 3610 (1), 1–80.

Padial, J.M., Miralles, A., De la Riva, I. & Vences, M. (2010) The integrative future of taxonomy. Frontiers in Zoology, 7, 1–14.

Schellenberg, A. (1933) Weitere deutsche und auslandische Niphargiden. Zoologische Anzeiger. 102, 22–33.

Schiödte, J.G. (1849) Bidrag til den underjordiske fauna. Det kong danske vidensk Selsk krifter Femte Raekke Naturv Mathem Afd Andet Bind. Copenhagen, 2, 39 pp.

Sket, B. (1981) Distribution, ecological character and phylogenetic importance of Niphargus valachicus. Biology Vestnik, 29, 87–103.

Sket, B. & Karaman, G. (1990) Niphargus rejici (Amphipoda), its relatives in the Adriatic islands, and its possible relations to S.W. Asian taxa. Stygologia, 5,153–172.

Väinölä, R., Witt, J.D.S., Grabowski, M., Bradbury, J.H., Jazdzewski, K. & Sket, B. (2008) Global diversity of amphipods (Amphipoda; Crustacea) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia, 595, 241–255.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa