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.

Pantosteus santaanae
Pantosteus santaanae
(Santa Ana Sucker)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Pantosteus santaanae Snyder, 1908

Common name: Santa Ana Sucker

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Moyle (1976); Page and Burr (1991).

Size: 25 cm.

Native Range: Los Angeles, San Gabriel, and Santa Ana River drainages, southern California (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 Pantosteus santaanae are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA193420054Calleguas; Mono Lake; Santa Clara; Santa Maria

Table last updated 7/18/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: The two suckers introduced into River Springs, California, were accidentally introduced from the San Gabriel River during the transplant of speckled dace Rhinichthys osculus (Miller 1968). The means of introduction in the other instances are unknown.

Status: Established in parts of California outside of its native range. Later visits to River Springs indicated the species did not survive at that site (Miller 1968).

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: The basis of the Santa Clara drainage population's designation as introduced is a statement of an old resident of the area that they were not originally present (Miller 1968). To test this statement, Buth and Crabtree (1982) conducted genetic studies. They did find a lack of rare alleles, evidence of a genetic bottleneck. However, this bottleneck may be the result of a small founding population, or of a small number of individuals that recolonized after flooding of the system. The genetic bottleneck does not rule out either possibility.

Voucher specimens:  Santa Clara drainage (LACM 38444, 38445, 38446, 38448; others).  No voucher specimens were found in the California Academy of Sciences ichthyology collection or the U.C. Davis collection for either introduced area.

References: (click for full references)

Bell, M. A. 1978. Fishes of the Santa Clara River system, southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California, Contributions in Science Series 295:1--20.

Buth, D.G. and C.B. Crabtree.  1982. Genetic variability and population structure of Catostomus santaanae in the Santa Clara drainage.  Copeia 1982(2):439-444.

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(3):170--179.

Moyle, P. B. 1976. 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.

Swift, C. C., T. R. Haglund, M. Ruiz, and R. N. Fisher. 1993. The status and distribution of the freshwater fishes of southern California. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Science 92(3):101-167.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1997. Endangered and threatened species; Review of plant and animal taxa; Proposed Rule. 50 CFR 17. Federal Register, September 19, 1997. 62(182):49397--49411. U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Fuller, P.

Revision Date: 8/24/2012

Peer Review Date: 8/24/2012

Citation Information:
Fuller, P., 2024, Pantosteus santaanae Snyder, 1908: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=354, Revision Date: 8/24/2012, Peer Review Date: 8/24/2012, Access Date: 7/18/2024

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 [7/18/2024].

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