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Big Bend Gambusia Gambusia gaigei


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Big Bend Gambusia
© James Johnson/U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Family: Poecilidae, Livebearers view all from this family

Description 2" (5 cm). Generally pale and silvery, largely unmarked, with faint lateral stripe. Dorsal fin far back on body; tail fin rounded.

Endangered Status The Big Bend Gambusia is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered throughout its range in Texas. This little fish was known to live in freshwater springs in only two locations: one near Boquillas Crossing, Texas, and the other in Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park. The Boquillas Spring stopped flowing in 1954, and the population died off. The spring flow in the Big Bend location was diverted in 1954 to form a fishing pool, and by 1960 the gambusia population was all but wiped out. Surviving populations at Big Bend, which live in a single, protected pool, descend from three gambusias rescued from the declining population in 1956.

Habitat Pools fed by warm springs.

Range Big Bend National Park, Texas.