The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Cyprinodon nevadensis
Cyprinodon nevadensis
(Amargosa Pupfish)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Cyprinodon nevadensis Eigenmann and Eigenmann, 1889

Common name: Amargosa Pupfish

Synonyms and Other Names: Nevada pupfish, Warm Springs pupfish, Tecopa pupfish, Shosone pupfish.

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: La Rivers (1962); Moyle (1976a); Page and Burr (1991). Six subspecies.

Size: 7.8 cm.

Native Range: Amargosa River basin, California and Nevada (Page and Burr 1991).

Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Cyprinodon nevadensis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA193819848Death Valley-Lower Amargosa; Eureka-Saline Valleys; Indian Wells-Searles Valleys; Mojave; Mono Lake; Salton Sea; San Felipe Creek; Southern Mojave
NV194019682Ivanpah-Pahrump Valleys; Las Vegas Wash

Table last updated 7/21/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Most introductions were the result of intentional stockings, of which some were presumably attempts to expand the range of this imperiled species. Fish found in the Nevada golf course were thought to have escaped with overflow from ponds at a nearby US Fish and Wildlife Service facility. Miller and Alcorn (1946) presumed that this small species had been brought to the federal facility from the Amargosa drainage for use as forage for the bass and sunfish populations maintained at the station. A few of the earlier stockings in California were apparently part of a series of experiments to test the effects of changed environment on meristic and morphometric characters (Miller 1968).

Status: Moyle (1976a) listed the occurrence of this species in the Mojave basin of California, but he did not provide details nor indicate its status. His Mojave basin record may very well be based on one or more of the early reports by Miller (1968). Miller (1968) documented the introduction of various subspecies into some seven sites in California and Nevada, but he concluded that all introductions failed to produce any long-term reproducing populations. The Las Vegas golf course site was searched in 1940, but no additional specimens were found (Miller and Alcorn 1946).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: This species is comprised of six subspecies, of which at least one, C. n. calidae is extinct and the others are at various levels of imperilment (Minckley et al. 1991). Two subspecies (C. n. mionectes and C. n. pectoralis) are federally listed endangered subspecies (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1993a). Seven of the nine stockings reported by Miller (1968) involved the subspecies C. n. amargosae. The 1939 stocking into Lucerne Valley was of C. n. nevadensis; the stocking into western Death Valley was of C. n. shoshone (Miller 1968).

References: (click for full references)

Deacon, J. E., and J. E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103-118.

La Rivers, I. 1962. Fishes and fisheries of Nevada. Nevada State Print Office, Carson City, NV.

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.

Miller, R. R. 1968. Records of some native freshwater fishes transplanted into various waters of California, Baja California, and Nevada. California Fish and Game 54:170-179.

Moyle, P. B. 1976a. Inland fishes of California. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

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. 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., 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.

FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 5/22/2019

Peer Review Date: 6/2/2004

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2024, Cyprinodon nevadensis Eigenmann and Eigenmann, 1889: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=657, Revision Date: 5/22/2019, Peer Review Date: 6/2/2004, Access Date: 7/21/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/21/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.