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Yaqui Chub Gila purpurea


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Yaqui Chub
© Hollingsworth/U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Family: Cyprinidae, Carps and Minnows view all from this family

Description 6" (15 cm). Small for a chub. Body deep, back "humped" in adults. Both sexes darker above, paler below; males dark gray-blue (bluer in breeding season); females tan to yellowish. Dark, roughly triangular spot at tail base. Scales large, 52-59 in lateral line.

Endangered Status The Yaqui Chub is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered throughout its range in Arizona. Like so many species of the dry Southwest, this species suffered from the competition with humans for water. Water levels were lowered by human consumption and drought, and these fish lost essential habitat. Predatory fishes introduced into their range may have taken a toll as well. The species was exterminated in the U.S., but a few populations have been reestablished in the San Bernardino and Leslie Canyon National Wildlife Refuges.

Habitat Deep, vegetated pools of creeks and spring runs.

Range Far southern Arizona; Rio Sonora basin in Mexico.