Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish
(Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes )

Photo: Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cyprinodontiformes
Family: Cyprinodontidae
Genus: Cyprinodo
Species: nevadensis
Subspecies: mionectes
Max Length: 6 cm
    Small chunky fish, usually with several indistinct vertical stripes.
    Females and young fish are olive green to tan in coloration.
  • Males have a bluish tint, which is more vibrant during spawning.

    Official Status:

    The Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish was designated as Endangered in the Entire Range on May 10, 1982.

    Life History:

    This Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish occurs in warm spring-fed streams and spring pools. This species feeds on algae, diatoms and smaller invertebrates that grow on the substrate. They spawn year-round, but primarily during the spring and early summer by laying individual eggs on the substrate.

    Distribution and Habitat:

      The Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish historically occurred within 10 spring systems throughout the Ash Meadows area of the Amargosa Valley , Nye County , Nevada . It currently occurs on the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and most of the major spring systems within this Refuge are designated Critical Habitat.


      Historic threats to this species include destruction of habitat, reduction of groundwater, and introduction of non-native species. The threat of non-native predatory and competitory species, such as crayfish, remains, as does the threat of habitat destruction due to wildfire and groundwater reduction.

    Fun Fact:

      Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish can occur in as little as ½-inch deep water.
    Last updated: April 16, 2014