Tecopa Pupfish - Cyprinodon nevadensis calidae

Kingdom Animalia

Tecopa Pupfish

Photo: A Tecopa Pupfish. Photographed by Phil Pister and published in the book 'Endangered Wildlife of California' by the Resources Agengy, Department of Fish and Game, State of California (U.S.A.). This book contains no visible notice of copyright and the exact publication date is unknown. According to Internet Archive this book, and thereby this image, is in the public domain.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Cyprinodontiformes
Family Cyprinodontidae
Genus Cyprinodon
Species Cyprinodon nevadensis
Subspecies Cyprinodon nevadensis calidae
Authority (Miller, 1948)
TSEW Status Extinct (EX), Year assessed: 2010
IUCN Status Not Evaluated
English Name Tecopa Pupfish
Dutch Name Tecopa Eierleggende Tandkarper
German Name Tecoma Wüstenfisch

The dorsal fin of the Tecopa Pupfish is closer to the tail than to the head. The pelvic fins have six rays but the fins are small and occasionally missing. When in breeding condition, males are bright blue with a black band at the end of the tail. Females may have from six to 10 vertical stripes. These pupfish are scarcely more than an inch long. (CDFG 2007)


Blue-green algae seems to be the main food of this fish, however they are also known to take small invertebrates such as mosquito larvae (CDFG 2007).


Pupfish can produce from two to 10 generations a year, depending on the temperature of the water (CDFG 2007).


The Tecopa Pupfish could survive in waters as warm as 42 °C (108 °F). (CDFG 2007)

Range & Habitat

Range Tecopa PupfishThe Tecopa Pupfish was native in the Mojave Desert, in Inyo County, California, United States of America. This fish subspecies was originally found only in the outflows of North and South Tecopa Hot Springs and associated ditches in southern Inyo County (CDFG 2007).

Image: a map of the United States of America with the previous range (in red) of the Tecopa Pupfish. Created by Peter Maas for The Sixth Extinction Website. This image has been licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

History & Population

The Tecopa Pupfish was described by Dr. Robert R. Miller in 1948. It was first described by Robert Rush Miller in 1948. Its decline began in the early 1940s when the northern and the southern spring which were about 10 yards apart were canalised and bathhouses were build. The popularity of Tecopa Hot Springs in the 1950s and 1960s led to the building of hotels and trailer parks in that area. By 1981 the Tecopa Pupfish was officially delisted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and it became the first animal which was officially declared extinct according to the provisions of the Endangered Species Act from 1973. (Wikipedia contributors 2008)

Extinction Causes

Agricultural and recreational development of the Tecopa Hot Springs and neighbouring land has eliminated the fish from the springs themselves (CDFG 2007).

Museum Specimens

Do you know any museum specimens? Please contact this website.


The Tecopa pupfish is a subspecies of the Nevada pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis). The surviving subspecies are the Saratoga pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis nevadensis), Armagosa pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis amargosae), Ash Meadows pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes), Warm Springs pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis pectoralis), and Shoshone pupfish, (Cyprinodon nevadensis shoshone).

Ash Meadows Pupfish

Photos: Ash Meadows pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes) at Points of Rocks Springs, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, southern Nevada, United States of America. Photographed by Stan Shebs on 29 May 2006. This image has been released under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Licence. See also Wikimedia Commons: [1] [2].


Tecopa pupfish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


CDFG (2007). Endangered wildlife of California. California. Dept. of Fish and Game. Sacramento : The Dept. In: Internet Archive, scanned and placed online 24-4-2007 at: http://www.archive.org/details/endangeredwildli00calirich.

Ono, R.D., J.D. Williams, and A. Wagner. (1983) Vanishing Fishes of North America. Stone Wall Press, Inc., Washington, DC 257 pp.

Wikipedia contributors (2008), "Tecopa pupfish," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tecopa_pupfish&oldid=196895858 (accessed March 23, 2008).

Citation: Maas, P.H.J. (2010).Tecopa Pupfish - Cyprinodon nevadensis calidae. In: TSEW (). The Sixth Extinction Website. <http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct>. Downloaded on .
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Updated: 18 August 2010


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