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.

Nothobranchius guentheri
Nothobranchius guentheri
(redtail notho)

Copyright Info
Nothobranchius guentheri (Pfeffer, 1893)

Common name: redtail notho

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Diagnostic characteristics and definition of genus were given by Parenti (1981). Color photographs appeared in Axelrod et al. (1985) and Scheel (1990).

Size: 5 cm.

Native Range: Tropical Africa. Type locality not clearly known, may be island of Zanzibar (Scheel 1990).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Nothobranchius guentheri was used for experimental purposes at the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of California at Riverside, California. However, the experiment lasted only one year (1964-1965) and was terminated, supposedly because the species was intolerant of low water temperatures (Dill and Cordone 1997). There is no evidence that the species was ever released into California open waters. Additionally, this species was introduced into Oahu, Hawaii, ca. 1967 (Kanayama 1968; Maciolek 1984).

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 Nothobranchius guentheri are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA196419641Santa Ana

Table last updated 3/2/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Imported and released by the Hawaii State Department of Health for possible use as mosquito control agents (Kanayama 1968). Imported and used in experimental plots as potential mosquito control agents (along with other annual fishes) by University of California researchers (Dill and Cordone 1997).

Status: Failed in California and Hawaii. Kanayama (1968) listed this species as one that may become established in Hawaii; however, later accounts (e.g., Devick 1991) indicated that it did not persist.

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: Nothobranchius are annual fishes; they are able to maintain permanent populations in temporary habitats by combining rapid growth and development with diapausing eggs that survive the dry season buried in the mud.

There are no known voucher specimens.

References: (click for full references)

Axelrod, H.R., W.E. Burgess, N. Pronek, and J.G. Walls. 1985. Dr. Axelrod's atlas of freshwater aquarium fishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

Devick, W.S. 1991. Patterns of introductions of aquatic organisms to Hawaiian freshwater habitats. 189-213 in New directions in research, management and conservation of Hawaiian freshwater stream ecosystems. Proceedings of the 1990 symposium on freshwater stream biology and fisheries management, Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Dill, W.A., and A.J. Cordone. 1997. History and status of introduced fishes in California, 1871-1996. California Department of Fish and Game Fish Bulletin, volume 178.

Kanayama, R.K. 1968. Hawaii's aquatic animal introductions. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of Western Association State Game and Fish Commissioners 47:123-131.

Maciolek, J.A. 1984. Exotic fishes in Hawaii and other islands of Oceania. 131-161 in W.R. Courtenay, Jr., and J.R. Stauffer, Jr., eds. Distribution, biology, and management of exotic fishes. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

Parenti, L.R. 1981. A phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of cyprinodontiform fishes (Teleostei, Atherinomorpha). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 168(4):335-557

Scheel, J.J. 1990. Atlas of killifishes of the Old World. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 4/30/2018

Peer Review Date: 3/15/2012

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Matt Neilson, 2024, Nothobranchius guentheri (Pfeffer, 1893): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=315, Revision Date: 4/30/2018, Peer Review Date: 3/15/2012, Access Date: 3/2/2024

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 [3/2/2024].

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