Diagnosis: Garra ignestii is distinguished from African congeners by the following combination of features: extremely well-developed, large papillate disc; scaled predorsal and postpelvic regions; chest and belly asquamate; vent located close to anal fin; and intestine long (Ref. 58532).
Description: Robust and deep-bodied species, greatest body depth in advance of dorsal-fin origin at level of pectoral-fin tips (Ref. 58532). Head robust and only slightly depressed, snout prominent with large horny tubercles in both sexes; eyes positioned medially on head (Ref. 58532). Dorsal head profile rises steeply over snout, dorsum of head smoothly rounded and contiguous with dorsal body profile, which is steeply convex to dorsal-fin origin in most specimens (Ref. 58532). Disc well-developed, large, with wide free posterior and lateral margins; numerous batteries of papillae over lower lip and around disc periphery; disc wider than long; rostral fold very well developed and ventrally downgrown to lower lip, with invecked ventral margin (Ref. 58532). Two pairs of barbels; rostral barbels usually well-developed and longer than maxillary pair (Ref. 58532). Between 34 and 36 scales along lateral line; predorsum scaled with 10 to 12 scales anterior to dorsal fin; 3.5 scales from lateral line to origin of pelvic fins; 4.5 scales from lateral line to dorsal fin origin; chest and belly asquamate; usually a few embedded scales on postpelvic region (Ref. 58532). Dorsal fin with iv-v,7 rays, inserted well in advance of pelvic fin, with a slightly rounded tip, first and second unbranched rays longest; anal fin with iv,5 rays, with pointed tip; pectoral fin with iv,11-12 rays, its length 12.4-23.3% of standard length, large and paddle-shaped with somewhat pointed tips (Ref. 58532). Predorsal length 30.6-49.0% of standard length (Ref. 58532). Vent moderate distance from anal fin (Ref. 58532).
Colouration: Either dark brown or brownish-black; more-or-less uniformly so over head and body, somewhat paler along lower third of body, and ventral surface uniformly either pale creamy-yellow or orange; faint traces of a darker midlateral band sometimes discernable on posterior flanks (Ref. 58532). Dorsal fin usually uniformly dusky grey-brown with no clearly demarcated black submarginal band; either 3 or 4 black spots between rays in basal membrane of dorsal fin; anal fin usually uniformly pale creamy brown without broad submarginal band of dusky brown pigment; caudal fin uniformly pale dusky grey-brown; pelvic and pectoral fins pale brownish-grey with pale cream leading edges (Ref. 58532).