Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

White River Spinedace
(Lepidomeda albivallis)

White River Spinedace
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Lepidomeda
Species: albivallis
Max Length: 5 inches
Lifespan: Less than 10 years
Feed: Terrestrial & aquatic insects
Habitat: Cold, clear springs & associated outflows

Official Status:

Listed as Endangered on September 12, 1985 . Approximately 2,500 inhabit the Flag Springs Complex.


Life History:

White River spinedace spawning behavior has never been directly observed, and specific spawning requirements are unknown. Young of the year have been observed during mid-summer and fall indicating that they spawn primarily in the spring months. Young of the year were observed only after spinedace were relocated from the coldest to the warmest of the three Flag Springs which indicated that they prefer warmer temperatures to spawn.


Distribution and Habitat:


White River spinedace have been extirpated from all but one of their historical habitats. They are found at the Flag Springs complex on the State of Nevada 's Wayne E. Kirch Wildlife Management Area. A refugium population is currently being established on private land in northern White River Valley but the results of the reintroduction are still yet to be determined. White River spinedace occupy springs and spring outflow streams with clear, cool water. The substrates are primarily gravel and sand, with some mud interspersed. Emergent aquatic vegetation and algae is common and often dense. The current in the spring outflows is swift to moderate.




Major threats to this species include competition with/predation by non-native fishes including rainbow trout and largemouth bass. Another recognized threat is alteration of habitat associated with the use of springs for irrigation purposes (e.g., converting natural spring & marsh complexes into impoundments and canals and development of underground irrigation pipelines).

Last updated: April 16, 2014