Cyprinodon nevadensis
(Amargosa Pupfish)
Native Transplant
Translate this page with Google
Français Deutsch Español Português Russian Italiano Japanese

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).

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Hawaii auto-generated map
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
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 several counties and drainages in the southern part of California including a ranch reservoir in the Lucerne Valley, San Bernadino County in 1939 and again in 1940; a spring and spring-fed ditches at Little Lake, Owens Valley in 1939 and 1940; a spring near the northeast end of the Salton Sea, Riverside County, in 1939 and again in 1940; San Felipe Creek in Sentenac Canyon, in 1939; and a site on the west side of Death Valley in 1940 (Miller 1968; Moyle 1976a). It was also introduced to the head spring at Pahrump Ranch in the Pahrump Valley, Nye County, Nevada, in 1940 (Miller 1968). A sample of 20 individuals was taken from a spring seepage area at a golf course in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1941 (Miller and Alcorn 1946; La Rivers 1962).

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: Unknown.

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: 6/2/2004

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2018, Cyprinodon nevadensis Eigenmann and Eigenmann, 1889: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL,, Revision Date: 6/2/2004, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 1/16/2018

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.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logoU.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Pam Fuller - NAS Program (
Page Last Modified: Thursday, January 04, 2018


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. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [1/16/2018].

Additional information for authors