Ladigesocypris ghigii* (Pisces, Cyprinidae), commonly
called gizani, is a small freshwater fish, endemic to the
Greek island of Rhodes. It owes both its common and scientific name
to the Italian professor Alessandro Ghigi, who first discovered
it on Rhodes at the beginning of the 20th century.
Gizani is a Lilliputian champion of survival, since it manages
to live in the extremely unstable environment of the streams of
Rhodes, which may flood during winter, but they dry up for most
of their length during the dry season.
Its life span is short (it lives up to three years in the wild),
it feeds on a great variety of food items and reproduces in the
spring and early summer, producing many larvae.
Gizani is one of the most endangered freshwater fish of Europe,
since one of its populations has recently become extinct (at lake
Nani), and most of the remaining populations exhibit persistent
Both the European and the Greek legislation protect gizani. It
is listed in Annex II of the European Union Directive for Habitats
Protection (92/43/EEC) as an endangered species of top priority,
as well as in the Red Book of Endangered Species of Greece. It is
also protected by Presidential Decree No 67/1981 of the Greek State.