Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-11; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 8-9. Diagnosis: Garra aethiopica is distinguished from African congeners by the following combination of features: intermediate disc; scaled predorsal, belly and postpelvic regions; either smooth or weakly invecked ventral margin to rostral cap; and pale ash-grey markings in both fresh and preserved specimens (Ref. 58532).
Description: Most individuals of Garra aethiopica are relatively robust, greatest body depth well in advance of dorsal-fin origin, at level of pectoral-fin tips (Ref. 58532). Head somewhat depressed, no tubercles on snout; eyes positioned anteriorly on head (Ref. 58532). Dorsal head profile rises steeply over snout, then more-or-less smoothly convex and contiguous with dorsal body profile to dorsal-fin origin (Ref. 58532). Disc of intermediate development, with narrow free posterior and lateral margins but usually not enlarged and without abundant papillation around posterior edge; rostral cap well developed, extending ventrally over upper jaw; ventral margin either smooth or only weakly invecked, and often incurved so that margin is obscured (Ref. 58532). Two pairs of barbels of similar length (Ref. 58532). Between 33 and 36 scales along lateral line; predorsal region fully scaled to dorsal fin; 3.5 scales from lateral line to origin of pelvic fin; 4-4.5 scales from lateral line to dorsal-fin origin; entire dorsum, belly and postpelvic regions scaled, although scales often deeply embedded; chest asquamate (Ref. 58532). Dorsal fin with iii-iv,7 rays, inserted well anterior to pelvic fin, with subacuminate tip, first and second unbranched rays longest; anal fin with iii-iv,5 rays, with subacuminate tip; pectoral fin with iv,11 rays, its length 17.9-23.0% of standard length, with somewhat pointed tips (Ref. 58532). Predorsal length 43.3-51.1% of standard length (Ref. 58532). Vent medially located (Ref. 58532).
Colouration: In preservation with well-defined dark streak over dorsum of head and body, and broad dark ash-grey midlateral band to base of caudal peduncle usually present; grey midlateral band somewhat expanded and wedge-shaped at caudal base (Ref. 58532). Head and body between dorsal streak and midlateral band pale creamy brownish-grey, body uniformly pale ventrally; well-defined, small, black spot present just behind opercle, in region of first lateral line scale; lips, gular region, posterior margin of opercle and branchiostegal membranes creamy yellow-brown (Ref. 58532). Dorsal fin more-or-less uniformly dusky creamy-yellow, with no obvious dark submarginal band; either 4 or 5 small black spots between rays in basal membrane of dorsal fin; anal fin uniformly pale creamy yellow; caudal fin pale dusky brown, with median rays a darker brown; pelvic and pectoral fins uniformly pale creamy yellow (Ref. 58532).
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