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Pecos Gambusia Gambusia nobilis


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Pecos Gambusia
© Hollingsworth/U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Family: Poecilidae, Livebearers view all from this family

Description 2" (2.5 cm). Silvery (lacks yellow pigment). Female more robust than male, and with dark marking on belly. Scale margins black; dark lateral stripe. Dorsal fin far back. Anal fin of male modified to form reproductive organ.

Endangered Status The Pecos Gambusia is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered throughout its range in New Mexico and Texas, in the Pecos River basin. Entire populations of this fish, and its habitat-mates the Leon Springs Pupfish and Comanche Springs Pupfish, were exterminated in the 1950s when the springs (Comanche and Leon Springs) that fed their habitats went dry, drained for human consumption. Introduced fish, which preyed upon, competed with, or hybridized with the gambusia, also took a toll on the species. All of these factors continue threaten the remaining Pecos Gambusias, which survive in just a few areas.

Habitat Pools and marshes fed by freshwater springs.

Range Formerly Pecos River basin in New Mexico and Texas; currently only in Hays, Jeff Davis, and Pecos Counties in Texas.