Cyprinodon diabolis
Cyprinodon diabolis
(Devils Hole Pupfish)
Native Transplant
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Cyprinodon diabolis Wales, 1930

Common name: Devils Hole Pupfish

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: La Rivers (1962); Sigler and Sigler (1987); Page and Burr (1991).

Size: 3.4 cm.

Native Range: Devil's Hole in central Ash Meadows, Death Valley National Monument, Nye County, Nevada (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980b; Page and Burr 1991).

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Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: This species was introduced into five, supposedly suitable, artificial refuges widely scattered over the deserts of California and Nevada (Soltz and Naiman 1978). These artifical refuges are large concrete tanks designed to simulate natural conditions in Devil's Hole. Several refugia were constructed close to (but isolated from) natural springs, and were given the name of the spring (e.g., Point of Rocks Spring refuge; Echelle, personal communication).

Means of Introduction: This species was intentionally stocked to create another population of a restricted endangered species. Point of Rocks Springs refuge was stocked with 16 fish in 1992. The population declined to 5 fish and was augmented with another 16.

Status: Early introductions into spring habitats failed to become established (Soltz and Naiman 1978). Recent introductions have been made into artificial refuge habitats, but current status is not certain and available information is somewhat conflicting.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown.

Remarks: This species has been listed as a federally endangered species since 1967 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980b, 1993a). In its only known native habitat, the species faces several threats to survival including reduction or loss of water, surface water runoff, vandalism, and accidents (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980b, 1993a). A captive population was created in the 1970s in an artificial refugium consisting of a concrete-lined pond constructed below Hoover Dam, Clark County, Nevada (Lee et al. 1980 et seq.; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980b; Williams 1991). As a result of a greater food supply, and probably other factors, individuals in the refuge population differed from those found in the native habitat were larger and more brightly colored (Williams et al. 1988). According to Williams (1991), the Hoover Dam refugium population is no longer extant. A second refugium, the Amargosa Pupfish Refugium, was constructed in Ash Meadows and stocked with fish in 1980 (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980b; Sigler and Sigler 1987; Williams 1991).

References: (click for full references)

Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980 et seq. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, NC.

Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. The Peterson Field Guide Series, volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1980b. Devil's Hole pupfish recovery plan. Prepared in cooperation with the Devil's Hole pupfish recovery team. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 46 pp. (+ correspondence).

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1993a. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. 50 CFR 17.11 & 17.12. Federal Register, August 23, 1993. U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC. 40 pp.

Williams, J.E. - Science Advisor, Intermountain Research Station, Bureau of Land Management, Boise, ID.

Williams, J. E., D. W. Sada, C. D. Williams, and other members of the Western Division of Endangered Species Committee. 1988. American Fisheries Society guidelines for introductions of threatened and endangered fishes. Fisheries 13(5):5-11.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 7/25/2011

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Cyprinodon diabolis Wales, 1930: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 7/25/2011, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/19/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/19/2018].

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