Annotated Checklist of the Fishes of the Rio Grande Drainage, Doña Ana, El Paso, and Hudspeth Counties


Carl S. Lieb, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso

This list of species includes all the historically occurring taxa that are now apparently extirpated from the region, as well as the upper Rio Grande forms that come as far south as Elephant Butte Reservoir in Sierra County. The latter may disperse considerable distances downstream as rare migrants or waifs. The list is based on Laboratory for Environmental Biology specimens and the literature given in the References section. This file also is obtainable in pdf form.


Order Lepisosteiformes

Family Lepisosteidae

Lepisosteus osseus—Longnose Gar

Order Anguilliformes—Eels

Family Angillidae

Anguilla rostrata—American Eel

Order Clupeiformes

Family Clupeidae

Dorosoma cepedianum—Gizzard Shad

Dorosoma petense—Threadfin Shad

Order Salmoniformes

Family Salmonidae

Onchorhynchus mykiss [Salmo gairdneri]—Rainbow Trout

Family Esocidae

Esox lucius—Northern Pike

Order Charciformes

Family Characidae

Astyanax mexicanus—Mexican Tetra

Family Serrasalmidae

cf. Colossoma macroponum—"Pacu"

Order Cypriniformes

Family Cyprinidae

Carassius auratus—Goldfish

Ctenopharyngodon idella—Grass Carp

Cyprinella [Notropis] lutrensis—Red Shiner

Cyprinus carpio—Common Carp

Extrarius [Hypobsis] aestivalis—Speckled Chub

Gila pandora—Rio Grande Chub

Hybognathus amarus—Rio Grande Silvery Minnow

Notemigonus crysoleucas—Golden Shiner

Notropis jemezanus—Rio Grande Shiner

Notropis orca—Phantom Shiner

Notropis simus—Bluntnose Shiner

Pimephales promelas—Fathead Minnow

Pimephales vigilax—Bullhead Minnow

Rhinicthys cataractae—Longnose Dace

Family Catostomidae

Carpiodes carpio—River Carpsucker

Catostomus commersoni—White Sucker

Ictiobus bubalus—Smallmouth Buffalo

Ictiobus niger—Black Buffalo

Order Siluriformes

Family Ictaluridae

Ameiurus (Ictalurus) melas—Black Bullhead

Ameiurus (Ictalurus) natalis—Yellow Bullhead

Ictalurus furcatus—Blue Catfish

Ictalurus punctatus—Channel Catfish

Pylodictis olivaris—Flathead Catfish

Order Cyprinodontiformes

Family Poeciliidae

Gambusia affinis—Mosquitofish

Poecilia (Mollienesia) latipinna—Sailfin Molly

Order Perciformes

Family Percichthyidae

Morone chrysops—White Bass

Morone saxatilis—Striped Bass

Family Centrarchidae

Ambloplites rupestris—Rock Bass

Lepomis (Chaenobryttus) cyanellus—Green Sunfish

Lepomis (Chaenobryttus) gulosus—Warmouth

Lepomis macrochirus—Bluegill

Lepomis megalotis—Longear Sunfish

Micropterus dolomieui—Smallmouth Bass

Micropterus salmoides—Largemouth Bass

Pomoxis annularis—White Crappie

Pomoxis nigromaculatus—Black Crappie

Family Percidae

Perca flavescens—Yellow Perch

Stizostedion vitreum—Walleye


Bestgen, Kevin R., and S. P. Platania. 1988. The ichthyofauna and aquatic habitats of the Rio Grande from the New Mexico-Texas border to Big Bend National Park. Report submitted to Region 2, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Endangered Species, Albuquerque, NM, iv + 55 pp.

Chaney, Allan H. 1990. Keys to the Vertebrates of Texas (Exclusive of Birds). Texas A&I University, Kingsville, 99 p.

Fries, Lorraine Thomas. 1987. Trophic and morphological relationships of a middle Rio Grande fish community. Unpublished M.S. Thesis, Univ. Texas at El Paso.

Lee, David S. et al., 1980 et seq. Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes. North Carolina Biol. Survey Pub. 1980-12:x + 854 p.

Page, Lawrence M., and Brooks M. Burr. 1991. A Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes. Hougton Miffling Co., Boston, xii + 432 p.

Sublette, James E., MIchael D. Hatch, and Mary Sublette. 1990. The Fishes of New Mexico. Univ. New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, xiii + plates + 393 p.


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Date of Last Update: 14 March 2000.