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 rubrofluviatilis
Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis
(Red River Pupfish)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis Fowler, 1916

Common name: Red River Pupfish

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Hubbs et al. (1991); Page and Burr (1991).

Size: 5.8 cm.

Native Range: Upper Red and Brazos River drainages, Oklahoma and Texas (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 rubrofluviatilis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
KS200320042Upper Cimarron-Bluff; Upper Cimarron-Liberal
OK198520067Lower Canadian-Deer; Lower Canadian-Walnut; Lower Cimarron-Eagle Chief; Lower Cimarron-Skeleton; Lower Salt Fork Arkansas; Upper Cimarron-Bluff; Upper Cimarron-Liberal
TX197219969Beals; Colorado Headwaters; Lower Colorado-Cummins; Middle Canadian; Middle Canadian-Spring; Middle Colorado; Middle Colorado-Elm; Sulphur Springs Draw; Upper Colorado

Table last updated 6/21/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Unknown. Echelle et al. (1977) speculated that the species was transported to the Colorado River drainage by bait-bucket or other artificial means; however, they could not completely discount the slight possibility that it was native to the drainage. Ashbaugh et al. (1994) suggested that introduced populations in the South Canadian and Colorado river drainages appear to have been derived from Red River parent stock. Its spread within the Canadian River drainage may have been aided by lower than normal peak stream flows during recent years (Pigg et al. 1995).

Status: Recorded and presumably established in an Oklahoma drainage and in two Texas drainages outside its native range.

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: Pigg et al. (1995) listed sites where this species was taken in the South Canadian River drainage.

References: (click for full references)

Ashbaugh, N.A., A.A. Echelle, and A.F. Echelle. 1994. Genic diversity in Red River pupfish Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis (Atheriniformes: Cyprinodontidae) and its implications for the conservation genetics of the species. Journal of Fish Biology 45(2):291-302.

Conner, J.V. and R.D. Suttkus. 1986. Zoogeography of freshwater fishes of the western Gulf Slope of North America. 413-456 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Cross, F.B., R.L. Mayden, and J.D. Stewart. 1986. Fishes in the western Mississippi basin (Missouri, Arkansas, and Red Rivers). 363-412 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Echelle, A.A., A.F. Echelle, and F.B. Cross. 1977. First records of Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis (Cyprinodontidae) from the Colorado and Arkansas River systems, Texas. The Southwestern Naturalist 22(1):142-143.

Hubbs, C., R.J. Edwards, and G P. Garrett. 1991. An annotated checklist of freshwater fishes of Texas, with key to identification of species. Texas Journal of Science, Supplement 43(4):1-56.

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

McNeely, D.L., W. Caire, A.L.N. Doss, V.M. Harris, and T. Rider. 2004. Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis, Red River pupfish (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae), established in the Cimarron River in Oklahoma. The Southwestern Naturalist 49(1):85-87.

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.

Pigg, J., R. Gibbs, and G.R. Luttrell. 1995. Distribution of the Red River pupfish Cyprinodon rubroflaviatilis Fowler, in the south Canadian River in Texas and Oklahoma. Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science 75:59-60.

Pigg, J., R. Gibbs, and G. Cottam. 1997. A record of the Red River pupfish, Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis (Fowler), from the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River in Oklahoma. Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science 77:122.

Other Resources:
Texas Freshwater Fishes - Texas State University San Marcos

FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 5/29/2019

Peer Review Date: 10/6/2011

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis Fowler, 1916: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=660, Revision Date: 5/29/2019, Peer Review Date: 10/6/2011, Access Date: 6/21/2024

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 [6/21/2024].

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