FWS Focus

Overview

Characteristics
Overview

The Devils Hole pupfish lives in a deep limestone cave in Nevada. This entire population of pupfish feeds and breeds on a shallow shelf only 215 square feet (20 square meters) along one side of Devils Hole. Devils Hole pupfish feed primarily on algae that grows on the limestone shelf and small invertebrates.

Scientific Name

Cyprinodon diabolis
Common Name
Devils Hole pupfish
Devil's Hole pupfish
FWS Category
Fishes
Kingdom

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers

TSN:

Characteristics

Characteristic category

Habitat

Characteristics
Habitat

Devils Hole is located in the very arid northern Mojave Desert. Devils Hole is composed of two distinct areas. One area is a limestone rock shelf that 11 feet 6 inches by 16 feet 5 inches and 11.8 inches deep. The second area is 11 feet by 55 feet 10 inches in area and an unknown depth. The Devils Hole pupfish resides in the upper 80 feet (24.38 meters) of the body of water, with typically half of the population residing on the limestone shelf. The temperature of the water remains a constant 91.4 to 93.3 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Desert

Area of land that receives no more than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of precipitation a year.

Characteristic category

Physical Characteristics

Characteristics
Size & Shape

The average length for this species of pupfish 0.9 inches with a maximum recorded length of 1.7 inches.

Characteristic category

Food

Characteristics
Food

Devils Hole pupfish feed primarily on algae that grows on the limestone shelf and small invertebrates. Diatoms are a major food source in the winter and spring while Spirogyra algae serves as the food source in the summer and fall. Devils Hole pupfish spend most of their time feeding on the south end of the limestone shelf. 

Geography

Characteristics
Range

The Devils Hole pupfish range is restricted to a single cave called Devils Hole located within Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.

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