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    Gambusia speciosa
    Tex-Mex Gambusia
    Credit: Chad Thomas, Texas State University

    Taxonomic Hierarchy

    Life
    Animalia
    Chordata
    Actinopterygii
    Cyprinodontiformes
    Poeciliidae (Livebearers)
    Gambusia
    Gambusia speciosa (Tex-Mex Gambusia)

    Description

    All text below is derived from a January 2013 copy of Dr. Timothy Bonner's website at Texas State University. That content was derived primarily from published literature. We are aware of some conflicts with the museum record and the content below will evolve as the new, expanded UT and Texas State Fishes of Texas project team members are able to update it. We invite collaborations to improve and expand the species account content. Please contact us if you wish to help, or if you discover flaws in our species account content that you can address.

    Type Locality

    Rio San Juan, in Nuevo Leon (Girard 1859).

     

    Etymology/Derivation of Scientific Name

     

     

    Synonymy

    Rauchenberger (1989) recognized Gambusia speciosa as a distinct species.

     

    Gambusia speciosa Girard 1859:121; Hubbs et al. 2008:39-40.

    Gambusia affinis speciosa

     

    Characters

    Maximum size: Girard (1859) noted that the largest specimens examined measured 38.1 mm TL and were female.

     

    Coloration: Girard (1859) described coloration: body is reddish brown, except belly which is yellowish or whitish; small black spots may be observed along the dorsal region near the base of the scales; dorsal and anal fins are grayish; caudal ventrals and pectorals are olivaceous.

     

    Counts: Dorsal fin rays 7 (Hubbs et al. 2008).

     

    Mouth position:

     

    Body shape: Dorsal fin origin well behind anal fin origin (Hubbs et al. 2008). Girard (1859) described the body as deep upon its middle and the tail tapering; head enters about four and one-half times in the total length; eye is proportionally large and circular, the diameter entering three times in the length of the side of the head; dorsal fin is very narrow and elevated; anal fin is narrow and deep; ventrals are small and pectorals are well developed.

     

    External morphology: Distal end of the 4th fin ray of gonopodium in male curved in a wide arch; spines at tip of 3rd anal fin ray of male gonopodium (first enlarged ray) 1 to 3 times longer than wide (Hubbs et al. 2008).

     

    Internal morphology: Intestinal canal short with few convolutions (Hubbs et al. 2008).

     

    Distribution (Native and Introduced)

    U.S. distribution: Primarily occurs in Mexico, found in streams and tributaries to the Rio Grande and more southern drainages (Hubbs et al. 2008).

     

    Texas distribution: Occurs only in the Devils River and associated streams in Val Verde County (Hubbs et al. 2008).

     

    Abundance/Conservation status (Federal, State, NGO)

    Listed as Threatened by the American Fisheries Society; categories of threats: present or threatened destruction, modification, or reduction of habitat or range; and other natural or anthropogenic factors that affect the existence of this species, including impacts of nonidigenous organisms, hybridization, competition, and/or predation (Jelks et al. 2008). Stable in the lower Pecos River (Hoagstrom 2003). Over 3000 G. speciosa were taken in extensive collections from Pinto Creek (Texas) in June 2002 (Garrett and Edwards 2003). See also Contreras-Balderas (1974); Edwards et al. (2002), Edwards (2003) and Garrett et al. (2004).

     

    Habitat Associations

    Macrohabitat: Springs, outflows, marshes, stream margins (Minckley et al. 1991).

     

    Mesohabitat:

     

    Biology

    Spawning season:

     

    Spawning habitat:

     

    Spawning behavior:

     

    Fecundity

     

    Age/size at maturation

     

    Migration:

     

    Growth and Population structure: 

     

    Longevity:

     

    Food habits: Gambusia speciosa adults preyed on their young in experimental aquaria (Hubbs 1991).

     

    Phylogeny and morphologically similar fishes

    Gambusia speciosa is a member of the G. affinis species group (Rauchenberger 1989). Gambusia speciosa with 7 dorsal fin rays, and with the distal end of the 4th fin ray of gonopodium in male curved in a wide arch; while G. affinis (western mosquitofish) has 6 dorsal fin rays (rarely 7), and the distal end of the 4th fin ray of gonopodium in male parallel or curved only in a weak arch (Hubbs et al. 2008).

     

    According to Garrett and Edwards (2003), G. clarkhubbsi (San Felipe gambusia) occurs in sympatry with G. speciosa in the headwaters of San Felipe Creek (Rio Grande tributary in Del Rio, Texas).

     

    Host Records

     

     

    Commercial or Environmental Importance

    Gambusia speciosa has been used successfully in experimental stream units and is known to have produced larvae in the streams (Matthews et al. 2006).

     

    References

    Contreras-Balderas, S. 1974. Speciation aspects and man-made community composition changes in Chihuahuan Desert fishes. In: Wauer, R.H., and D.H. Riskind (eds.). Transactions of the Symposium on the Biological Resources of the Chihuahuan Desert Region United States and Mexico. U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service Transactions and Proceedings Series (3):405-431.

     

    Edwards, R.J. 2003. Ecological profiles for selected stream-dwelling Texas freshwater fishes IV. Report to the Texas Water Development Board. 19 pp.

     

    Edwards, R.J., G.P. Garrett, and E. Marsh-Matthews. 2002. Conservation and status of the fish communities inhabiting the Conchos basin and middle Rio Grande, Mexico and U.S.A. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 12:119-132.

     

    Garrett, G.P., and R.J. Edwards. 2003. New species of Gambusia (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae) from Del Rio, Texas. Copeia 2003(4):783-788.

     

    Garrett, G.P., R.J. Edwards, and C. Hubbs. 2004. Discovery of a new population of Devils River minnow (Dionda diaboli), with implications for conservation of the species. The Southwestern Naturalist 49(4):435-441.

     

    Girard, C.F. 1859. Ichthyological notices. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 11:113-122.

    Hoagstrom, C.W. 2003. Historical and recent fish fauna of the lower Pecos River. pp 91-110 in: G.P. Garrett, and N.L. Allan (eds.) 33rd Annual Symposium of the Desert Fishes Council, Sul Ross University, Alpine, Texas. Vol. 42. Museum of Texas Tech University.

     

    Hubbs, C. 1991. Intrageneric “cannibalism” in Gambusia. The Southwestern Naturalist 36(2):153-157.

     

    Hubbs, C., R.J. Edwards, and G.P. Garrett. 2008. An annotated checklist of the freshwater fishes of Texas, with keys to identification of species. Texas Journal of Science, Supplement, 2nd edition 43(4):1-87.

    Jelks, H.L., S.J. Walsh, N.M. Burkhead, S. Contreras-Balderas, E. Diaz-Pardo, D.A. Hendrickson, J. Lyons, N.E. Mandrak, F. McCormick, J.S. Nelson, S.P. Platania, B.A. Porter, C.B. Renaud, J.J. Schmitter-Soto, E.B. Taylor, and M.L. Warren, Jr. 2008. Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8):372-407.

    Matthews, W.J., K.B. Gido, G.P. Garrett, F.P. Gelwick, J.G. Stewart, and J. Schaefer. 2006. Modular experimental riffle-pool stream system. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135(6):1559-1566.

     

    Minckley, W.L., G.K. Meffe, and D.L. Soltz. 1991. Conservation and management of short-lives fishes: the cyprinodontoids, Chapter 15. pp. 247-282 in: Minckley, W.L., and J.E. Deacon (Eds.). Battle Against Extinction: Native Fish Management in the American West. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona. 517 pp.

    Rauchenberger, M. 1989. Systematics and biogeography of the genus Gambusia (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae). American Museum Novitates 2951:1-74.

     

    Records

    There are no records associated with this taxon yet.

    iSpecies Data

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    Occurences Over Time


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    Photos

    Credit: Chad Thomas, Texas State University Credit: Garold Sneegas Credit: Brian Langerhans Lab, North Carolina State University Credit: Brian Langerhans Lab, North Carolina State University Credit: Brian Langerhans Lab, North Carolina State University Credit: F. Douglas Martin Credit: Chad Thomas, Texas State University