Ghizani (Ladigesocypris Ghigii) or Minia
The fish Ghizani was named after Alessandro Ghigi, an Italian professor at the University of Bologna, who discovered the species on the island in 1926 during the ‘Italian mission and study of the fauna of the Dodecanese islands’, which he directed.
The Ghizani is one of the most endangered freshwater species in Europe and is protected under both European and Greek Legislation. It inhabits most of the island’s streams, springs and reservoirs. Ghizani populations have been recorded in the streams of rivers Loutanis and Argiros, in Psinthos village, in the artificial reservoir in Aghia Eleoussa, in the artificial lake of Apolakkia, as well as in the streams on the western part of the island.
It is a small cyprinoid with a maximum length of ten to twelve centimetres. However, the Ghizani encountered in nature is usually three to five centimetres in length. It weighs a few grams and is silver-grey in colour, darker on the back and lighter on the belly. It lives three years on average and feeds on algae, aquatic invertebrates and insect larvae. It can survive both the low temperatures of winter and the high temperatures of summer. It prefers slow-flowing water and tends to hide by the banks, under the roots of aquatic and riparian plants or among algae and rocks. It reproduces in segments in spring and early summer.