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.

Lucania parva
Lucania parva
(Rainwater Killifish)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Lucania parva (Baird and Girard in Girard, 1855)

Common name: Rainwater Killifish

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Smith (1985); Menhinick (1991); Page and Burr (1991); Mettee et al. (1996).

Size: 7 cm.

Native Range: Marine, but enters freshwater from Massachusetts to Mexico. Ascends the Pecos River, Texas and New Mexico (Hubbs and Miller 1965; 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 Lucania parva are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA195820236San Francisco Bay; San Joaquin Delta; San Pablo Bay; Santa Ana; Santa Margarita; Suisun Bay
NV198020013Hamlin-Snake Valleys; Southern Great Salt Lake Desert; Thousand-Virgin
NM197719914Elephant Butte Reservoir; Rio Grande-Albuquerque; Rio Grande-Santa Fe; Upper Rio Grande
OR195819943Alsea; Pacific Northwest Region; Siletz-Yaquina
TX189120156East Galveston Bay; Lavaca; Navidad; San Saba; Upper Guadalupe; Upper San Antonio
UT195919924Great Salt Lake; Rush-Tooele Valleys; Southern Great Salt Lake Desert; Utah Lake

Table last updated 6/20/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Many introductions likely were the result of contaminated stock (Sigler and Miller 1963; Hubbs and Miller 1965; Moyle 1976a, 1976b). In Utah, Rainwater Killifish arrived as a stock contaminant in a shipment of largemouth bass (Sigler and Sigler 1987). In northern California and Oregon, Rainwater Killifish may have been transported as eggs on planted oysters (Hubbs and Miller 1965; Moyle 1976a, b) or with ballast water from the Atlantic Coast (Hubbs and Miller 1965). In southern California it was a contaminant in a shipment of largemouth bass (Hubbs and Miller 1965; Moyle 1976b). Hubbs and Miller (1965) indicated some introductions may have resulted when the species was stocked along with Gambusia during mosquito control operations or from aquarium release, but that these routes were less likely than stock contamination. Most of the original introductions in the western United States apparently occurred during the 1940s and 1950s (Hubbs and Miller 1965). The species was introduced into the Great Swamp in New Jersey in 1969 (Stiles 1978) and into Texas in about 1980 (Hubbs et al. 1991), but the reasons for these introductions were not given.

Status: Established in California, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Utah. Unknown for Nevada (see Remarks) and New Jersey.

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: Hubbs and Miller (1965) reviewed the introduction history of this species and provided a map distinguishing introduced and native records.

This species may not have introduced to Nevada. Hubbs and Miller's (1965) map shows the location of Blue Lake as on the Nevada-Utah border south of Wendover, UT. Subsequent authors summarizing the distribution of L. parva may have misinterpreted this location as residing in Nevada. Both Deacon and Williams (1984) and Vinyard (2001) give the distribution as "in the Blue Lake area near the Utah border, Elko County" but list no references or museum voucher specimens. Duggins in Lee et al. (1980) cites Hubbs and Miller (1965) as a reference for the species occurrence in Nevada, but Hubbs and Miller do not describe any collections from Nevada. We are unable to locate any voucher specimens from Nevada.

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.

Hubbs, C. L., and R. R. Miller. 1965. Studies of cyprinodontid fishes. XXII: variation in Lucania parva, its establishment in western United States, and description of a new species from an interior basin in Coahuila, Mexico. Miscellaneous Publications of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology 127. pp. 1-104.

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.

Matern, S.A., P.B. Moyle, and L.C. Pierce. 2002. Native and alien fishes in a California estuarine marsh: twenty-one years of changing assemblages. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 131: 797-816.

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

Moyle, P. B. 1976b. Fish introduction in California: history and impact on native fishes. Biological Conservation 9:101-118.

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.

Platania, S. P. 1991. Fishes of the Rio Chama and upper Rio Grande, New Mexico, with preliminary comments on their longitudinal distribution. Southwestern Naturalist 36(2):186-193.

Schmidt, B. - Chief Fisheries Mangement, Division of Wildlife Resources, Salt Lake City, UT. Response to NBS-G non-indigenous questionaire. 1992.

Sigler, F. F., and R. R. Miller. 1963. Fishes of Utah. Utah Department of Fish and Game, Salt Lake City, UT. 203 pp.

Stiles, E. W. 1978. Vertebrates of New Jersey. Edmund W. Stiles, Somerset, NJ.

Sublette, J. E., M. D. Hatch, and M. Sublette. 1990. The fishes of New Mexico. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM. 393 pp.

Vinyard, G.L. 2001. Fish Species Recorded from Nevada. Biological Resources Research Center. University of Nevada, Reno. 5 pp.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 6/7/2019

Peer Review Date: 9/12/2013

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Lucania parva (Baird and Girard in Girard, 1855): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=697, Revision Date: 6/7/2019, Peer Review Date: 9/12/2013, Access Date: 6/20/2024

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 [6/20/2024].

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.