African and Iberian populations of the genusCobitisexhibit high morphological polymorphism and their taxonomy is unclear. In seven such populations the percentage of polymorphic loci ranged betweenP=0?08-0?48 and mean heterozygosity per locusH=0?005-0?073. The lowest Nei genetic distance between African and Iberian populations ofCobitiswasD=0?250. The populations separated with the formation of the Gibraltar strait 5 million years ago. C. calderoniis a well-differentiated branch from the rest of the Iberian populations of the genus. Our analysis supports the concept thatC. paludicapopulations andC. maroccanaare referable to the subgenusIberocobitis. These African and Iberian populations represent two taxa,C. maroccanaPellegrin, 1929 andC. paludicaDe Buen, 1930. C. maroccanaandC. paludicapopulations are monophyletic and the African population is the most differentiated genetically. The Arrago population ofC. paludicais genetically the most differentiated of the Iberian populations. Our allozyme data do not support the previous consideration of the Albufera lagoon population as a different species fromC. paludica. ? 1995 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
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