FWS Focus


The Paiute cutthroat trout is a distinctive member of the cutthroat trout complex, distinguishable from other cutthroat trouts by body coloration and the absence, or near absence, of body spots. Snyder (1933, 1934) described these fish as a new species, (Salmo seleniris), based on: 1) absence of body spots; 2) slender body form; 3) relatively small scales; and 4) vivid coloration. Subsequent comparisons of the type specimens with other cutthroat subspecies (Ryan and Nicola 1976, Behnke 1980) revealed that the meristic and morphometric characters for Paiute cutthroat trout are also typical of those characterizing Lahontan cutthroat trout. Behnke and Zarn (1976) concluded, on the basis of gillraker comparisons, that the separation of Paiute cutthroat from Lahontan cutthroat occurred relatively recently, (no more than 5,000 to 8,000 years ago), following the desiccation of Lake Lahontan. Paiute cutthroat trout and Lahontan cutthroat trout both typically possess 150-180 lateral series scales, 60-63 total vertebrae, 50-70 pyloric caeca, and 21-27 gill rakers.

Scientific Name

Oncorhynchus clarkii seleniris
Common Name
Paiute cutthroat trout
FWS Category

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



Launch Interactive Map


Explore the information available for this taxon's timeline. You can select an event on the timeline to view more information, or cycle through the content available in the carousel below.

11 Items