Desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius)

Federal Register | Recovery | Critical Habitat | Conservation Plans | Petitions | Life History

Listing Status:   

Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND

General Information

Small (2 inches) smoothly rounded body shape with narrow vertical bars on the sides. Breeding males blue on head and sides with yellow on tail. Females and juveniles tan to olive colored back and silvery sides. Two subspecies are recognized: Desert Pupfish (C.m. macularis) and Quitobaquito Pupfish (C.m. eremus). Critical habitat includes Quitobaquito Springs, Pima County, portions of San Felipe Creek, Carrizo Wash, and Fish Creek Wash, Imperial County, California.

  • States/US Territories in which the Desert pupfish, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  Arizona , California
  • US Counties in which the Desert pupfish, Wherever found is known to or is believed to occur:  View All
  • USFWS Refuges in which the Desert pupfish, Wherever found is known to occur:  Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge, Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge
  • Countries in which the the Desert pupfish, Wherever found is known to occur:  Mexico
  • Additional species information
 
Current Listing Status Summary
Status Date Listed Lead Region Where Listed
1986-03-31 Southwest Region (Region 2) Wherever found

» Federal Register Documents

Federal Register Documents
Date Citation Page Title
1984-05-16 00:00:00.0 49 FR 20739 20744 Proposed End. Status & Crit. Hab. for Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius); 49 FR 20739-20744
1982-12-30 00:00:00.0 47 FR 58454 58460 Review of Vertebrate Wildlife for Listing as End. or Thr. Species
1986-03-31 00:00:00.0 51 FR 10842 10851 Determination of End. Status & Crit. Hab. for Desert Pupfish; 51 FR 10842- 10851
1984-07-13 00:00:00.0 49 FR 28583 28585 Notice of Finding on 6 Petitions; 49 FR 28583-28585
2006-04-21 00:00:00.0 71 FR 20714 20716 5-Year Review of 25 Southwestern Species
1983-06-14 00:00:00.0 48 FR 27273 27274 Findings on Certain Petitions; 48 FR 27273-27274
2011-05-25 00:00:00.0 76 FR 30377 30382 Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of Species in California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin of Oregon
1993-01-29 00:00:00.0 58 FR 6526 Availability of a Draft Recovery Plan for Desert Pupfish for Review and Comment; (Cyprinodon macularius)

» Recovery

Current Recovery Plan(s)
Date Title Plan Action Status Plan Status
1993-12-08 Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) Recovery Plan View Implementation Progress Final
Other Recovery Documents
Date Citation Page Title Document Type
2011-05-25 76 FR 30377 30382 Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of Species in California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin of Oregon
  • Notice 5-year Review, Completion
2006-04-21 71 FR 20714 20716 5-Year Review of 25 Southwestern Species
  • Notice 5-year Review, Initiation
Five Year Review
Date Title
2010-09-29 Desert Pupfish 5-Year Review

» Critical Habitat

Date Citation Page Title Document Type Status
1986-03-31 51 FR 10842 10851 Determination of End. Status & Crit. Hab. for Desert Pupfish; 51 FR 10842- 10851 Final Rule Final designated
1984-05-16 49 FR 20739 20744 Proposed End. Status & Crit. Hab. for Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius); 49 FR 20739-20744 Proposed Rule Not Required

To learn more about critical habitat please see http://ecos.fws.gov/crithab

» Conservation Plans

Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) (learn more)
HCP Plan Summaries
Coachella Valley Multi-Species HCP
Pima County Multi-Species Conservation Plan, under Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan
Safe Harbor Agreements (SHA): (learn more)
SHA Plan Summaries
Aravaipa SHA for Gila topminnow and desert pupfish
Arizona Department of Transportation
SHA for topminnows and pupfish in Arizona

» Petitions

» Life History

Habitat Requirements

Pupfish are remarkably adaptable and can survive in aquatic habitats with high temperatures and salinities, although they likely prefer more amenable conditions. Given the opportunity, they will move into areas of lower salinities and temperatures. Found below 4,000 feet of elevation.

Food Habits

Pupfish are predators on small aquatic organism, including insects, worms, and larger zooplankton. Plants and detritus are also taken.

Movement / Home Range

The desert pupfish was extirpated from Arizona and natural populations remain at the Salton Sea in California, and in Mexico. Reintroductions of desert pupfish have occurred across southern Arizona in small streams, pools, ponds, tanks, and other small aquatic habitats

Reproductive Strategy

Breed in the spring and early summer, males are territorial against other males. Eggs are laid on the bottom and there is no active parental care; however, the defense of territory by the male may provide some protection for eggs and newly hatched young. Where food is abundant, young of the year may achieve sexual maturity within 6 weeks. Pupfish are short-lives, rarely living more than a year in the wild.

Other

Loss of natural aquatic habitats and predation/competition from introduced non-native fish, frogs, and crayfish resulted in the elimination of natural pupfish populations from Arizona. The small reintroduction sites are at risk from contamination by non-native species accidentally or purposely transported from other aquatic sites. Groundwater extraction, and erosion off the watershed also adversely affect these small habitats by increasing sedimentation into the habitat: decreasing its size and interfering with the food base.

» Other Resources

NatureServe Explorer Species Reports -- NatureServe Explorer is a source for authoritative conservation information on more than 50,000 plants, animals and ecological communtities of the U.S and Canada. NatureServe Explorer provides in-depth information on rare and endangered species, but includes common plants and animals too. NatureServe Explorer is a product of NatureServe in collaboration with the Natural Heritage Network.

ITIS Reports -- ITIS (the Integrated Taxonomic Information System) is a source for authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.

FWS Digital Media Library -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library is a searchable collection of selected images, historical artifacts, audio clips, publications, and video.