|Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon spp)|
DESCRIPTION: L=3" (76mm) in males and about 2" (50mm) in females. Females, young, and non-breeding males are tan with vertical dark bars; breeding males become irridescent blue. Rounded fins.
NATURAL HISTORY: Omnivorous. Occurs in springs, lakes, marshes, and stream pools. Breeding males aggressively defend their territory during the spring/summer breeding period. However, this aggressive behavior sometimes works against them as "sneaker" (less dominant) males may sneak in and spawn with the female while the dominant male is chasing away another male. Nests are guarded by males. Desert pupfish are well-adapted to the rapid water temperature changes (can tolerate from 50-100 degrees F) and high salinity they experience in their habitat. Endangered due to introduced species and habitat destruction/fragmentation.