Desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius)
Where Listed: WHEREVER FOUND
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
|Status||Date Listed||Lead Region||Where Listed|
|03/31/1986||Southwest Region (Region 2)||Wherever found|
» Federal Register Documents
|07/13/1984||49 FR 28583 28585||Notice of Finding on 6 Petitions; 49 FR 28583-28585|
|05/25/2011||76 FR 30377 30382||Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of Species in California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin of Oregon|
|05/16/1984||49 FR 20739 20744||Proposed End. Status & Crit. Hab. for Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius); 49 FR 20739-20744|
|01/29/1993||58 FR 6526||Availability of a Draft Recovery Plan for Desert Pupfish for Review and Comment; (Cyprinodon macularius)|
|03/31/1986||51 FR 10842 10851||Determination of End. Status & Crit. Hab. for Desert Pupfish; 51 FR 10842- 10851|
|12/30/1982||47 FR 58454 58460||Review of Vertebrate Wildlife for Listing as End. or Thr. Species|
|06/14/1983||48 FR 27273 27274||Findings on Certain Petitions; 48 FR 27273-27274|
|04/21/2006||71 FR 20714 20716||5-Year Review of 25 Southwestern Species|
|Date||Title||Plan Action Status||Plan Status|
|12/08/1993||Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius) Recovery Plan||View Implementation Progress||Final|
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type|
|05/25/2011||76 FR 30377 30382||Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of Species in California, Nevada, and the Klamath Basin of Oregon||
|04/21/2006||71 FR 20714 20716||5-Year Review of 25 Southwestern Species||
|09/29/2010||Desert Pupfish 5-Year Review|
» Critical Habitat
|Date||Citation Page||Title||Document Type||Status|
|03/31/1986||51 FR 10842 10851||Determination of End. Status & Crit. Hab. for Desert Pupfish; 51 FR 10842- 10851||Final Rule||Final designated|
|05/16/1984||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
|HCP Plan Summaries|
|Coachella Valley Multi-Species HCP|
|Pima County Multi-Species Conservation Plan, under Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan|
|SHA Plan Summaries|
|Aravaipa SHA for Gila topminnow and desert pupfish|
|Arizona Department of Transportation|
|SHA for topminnows and pupfish in Arizona|
» Life History
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.
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
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.
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.