Scientific Names

Since scientific names of species evolve over time and not all donated data used current names, we synonymized all older names to a current standard taxonomy. To make the data more useful to non-scientists, we linked the standardized scientific names to a current standard set of common names of fishes.

Our taxonomy and vernacular (common) names conform to the American Fisheries Society’s common names for fishes publication (Page et al., 2013), with the exception of our addition of some species from the Hubbs et al. checklist and key (2008),  the American Fisheries Society’s 2008 report on Conservation Status of Imperiled North American Freshwater and Diadromous Fishes (Jelks et al., 2008) and others we justify below. Some names were received via our donors for species not known to occur in North America, and thus are not included in the previous publications, but are none-the-less valid taxa names. Usually those names are changed when we examine the specimens, however before that occurs we must apply names and our standards for names outside North America are Fishbase (, California Academy of Science's Catalog of Fishes ( or the Integrated Taxonomic System (ITIS;

Focusing primarily on records occurring in Texas, each taxon in the database was considered individually, and, when unambiguously possible, names not exactly matching our standard taxonomy were assigned a synonym from our accepted taxonomy. In some instances no name was provided by the donor and in other cases synonymization was not possible because the taxon was unrecognized or not identified to the species level. In other records generic names and species names were each recognizable, but when paired (e.g., Lepisosteus humilis) did not constitute a valid binomial taxonomic name. The California Academy of Science’s Catalog of Fishes ( proved invaluable and was our primary resource for researching correct spellings, historic names and synonymy information. Fishbase (, and the Integrated Taxonomic System (ITIS; were useful resources as well.

All records that could not be unambiguously synonymized to our standard taxonomy for any reason, including records for specimens that were not determined (genus and/or species), and all records determined to represent hybrids were flagged for specimen examination. This produced a total of 1,007 records flagged as potential errors (Track 1 data only).

Taxa-Specific Decisions:

Some taxa required specific treatments following recommendations in published literature. The following taxa listed in bold, and arranged alphabetically by genus and species, are recognized by the Fishes of Texas Project as explained below. Note that when specimen determinations are based on published biogeography, including range maps or textual descriptions, they have been applied to georeferenced records only.

Carpiodes cyprinus: Some specimens of Carpiodes from the upper Colorado River drainage are here referred to C. cyprinus because they most closely resemble that species as described in the literature, but they differ, primarily in body and head shape, from both C. carpio and C. cyprinus. Suttkus and Bart (2002) pointed out this distinctness and also recognized C. carpiodes elongatus as a distinct form occurring in the Rio Grande drainage. Bart (pers. comm. 2015) continues work describing and defining distributions of Texas forms of Carpiodes. We await the outcome of continued research, but will not be surprised if the slender form from the upper Colorado eventually is found to represent a new species. Effective in version 1.0.

Chasmodes longimaxilla: Williams (1983) and McEachran and Fechhelm (2010) agree that Texas specimens referred to Chasmodes bosquianus are instead C. longimaxilla. Effective in version 2.0.

Cycleptus sp (Rio Grande Blue Sucker): Although undescribed, we follow Burr and Mayden 1999, Buth et al. 2001 and Bessert 2006 in referring all records of this genus from the Rio Grande drainage to this undescribed species. Effective in version 2.0.

Cyprinella forlonensis: We follow Schönhuth and Mayden (2010) in recognizing this distinct species. At the time of this writing no records are attributed to this taxon.

Cyprinella lepida: We follow Richardson and Gold (1995) and refer all Cyprinella lutrensis from the Frio River upstream of Uvalde to C. lepida. Effective in version 2.0.

Cyprinella lutrensis blairi: We resurrect this subspecies first described by Hubbs (1940). We identified records of this form by inference based on published literature, which places the subspecies in Brewster County at Garden Spring (also known as Monument Spring) and in Peña Colorad(a/o) Creek (1940 Hubbs’ description) and in Maravillas Creek (Miller, Williams, and Williams 1989). We apply this subspecies name to all records identified as C. lutrensis from these locations collected prior to 1955 after which the subspecies is thought to have gone extinct.  Effective in version 2.0.

Cyprinella sp (Nueces River Shiner): We follow Richardson and Gold (1995) in recognizing this as a distinct form and now refer all records from the Nueces River upstream of Uvalde formerly recognized as Cyprinella lutrensis to this undescribed species. Effective in version 2.0.

Cyprinella sp 1 (Rio Conchos Shiner): We follow Schönhuth and Mayden (2010) in recognizing this distinct species. At the time of this writing no records are attributed to this taxon.

Cyprinella suavis:  We follow Schönhuth and Mayden (2010) in recognizing this distinct species. At the time of this writing no records are attributed to this taxon.

Dionda sp 1 (Conchos Roundnose Minnow): We follow Schönhuth et al. (2012) in referring all Dionda from the Conchos River (Mex) and into TX (see Figure 1 in that paper) to this undescribed species. Effective in version 2.0.

Dionda sp 3 (Colorado Roundnose Minnow): We follow Schönhuth et al. (2012) in referring all Dionda from the Upper Colorado River (TX) (see Figure 1 in that paper) to this undescribed species. Effective in version 2.0.

Dionda: Texas Dionda are mostly morphologically very similar and, when range overlap is not indicated, determinations here were mostly done on the basis of ranges defined in Schönhuth et al. (2012). Effective in version 2.0.

Erimyzon claviformis: Texas specimens formerly referred to E. oblongus were determined by Bailey et al. (2004) to E. claviformis. We follow that for all Texas records. Effective in version 2.0.

Etheostoma thompsoni: Etheostoma asprigene in the Sabine and Neches Rivers of Texas are now referred to E. thompsoni as per Suttkus et al. (2012). Effective in version 2.0.

Etheostoma pulchellum: Following Bossu and Near (2009) and Bossu et al. (2013), all records of E. spectabile in Texas are now referred to E. pulchellum. Effective in version 2.0.

Etheostoma artesiae: Texas specimens formerly recognized as Etheostoma whipplei are now recognized to be E. artesiae (Piller et al. 2001). Effective in version 1.0.

Fundulus blairae: Fundulus notti, F. blairae and F. dispar are all valid, but morphologically very similar, species. We follow Fishes of Alabama (Boschung et al.; 2004) and recognize that of these, only F. blairae is found in Texas, and thus specimens from the state formerly referred to F. dispar and F. notti are now called F. blairae. Effective in version 1.0.

Fundulus kansae: F. zebrinus from the Canadian River drainage are now referred to F. kansae as per Kreiser (2001). Effective in version 1.0.

Gambusia krumholzi:  G. clarkhubbsi was determined by Echelle et al. (2013) to be a synonym of G. krumholzi. Effective in version 2.0.

Hypleurochilus multifilis: Hypleurochilus geminatus in Texas were synonymized by Bath (1994) to H. multifilis . That change was accepted by McEachran and Fechhelm (2010) and Carpenter (2002), and is now accepted here. Effective in version 2.0.

Hypostomus (unknown species): Identifications of Hypostomus specimens from Texas (all introduced), are exceedingly difficult and so we here refer to all as “Hypostomus sp. (unknown species)”. Effective in version 1.0.

Ictalurus sp (Chihuahua Catfish): Identifications to this undescribed species are difficult, but our research supports validity of this species. We here recognize determinations from an unpublished manuscript by Julian Humphries and Robert Rush Miller dated October 7, 1998, specifically UMMZ 214590, 203009, 201537, 203240, 161739, 196733, 66188, TNHC 4240, 2037, UANL 1892, 7121, 2153, 5661, ASU 64-0859, FMNH 100478, MSB 3180, 7778, 6395, 6392. However, currently not all of these 19 lots are included in the Fishes of Texas database. Effective in version 2.0.

Ictalurus sp (Rio Grande Blue Catfish): Rodiles-Hernández et al. (2010), though not indicating the form to be a distinct species, identified morphological differences that support the hypothesis that spotted blue catfishes from the Río Grande basin are distinctive. Though further study is needed, we here now refer specimens from this drainage known to have vertebral counts (provided by John Lundberg) of 55 to this form. Effective in version 2.0.

Lepomis miniatus: We now recognize synonymization by Warren (1992) of Lepomis punctatus in Texas to L. miniatus. Effective in version 1.0.

Macryhbopsis: Texas species in this genus are morphologically similar and, when range overlap is not indicated, determinations here are now based mostly on the ranges defined by Eisenhour (2004). Effective in version 1.0.

Menidia beryllina:  M. audens has been accepted by the American Fisheries Society (Page et al. 2013), which cites Suttkus et al. (2005) and Fluker et al (2011) for validation. Fluker et al., however, considered the morphological differences to be due to ecophenotypy and find no evidence for a phylogenetic split, so we chose to not yet recognize M. audens and continue to recognize only M. beryllina.   Effective in version 1.0.

Micropterus salmoides nuecensis: We follow Nice et al. (2006) in recognizing this distinct species. At the time of this writing no records are attributed to this taxon.

Notropis simus pecosensis:  We recognize this subspecies described by Chernoff et al. (1982). Effective in version 2.0.

Notropis simus simus: We recognize this subspecies described by Chernoff et al. (1982). Effective in version 2.0.

Percina apristis: We follow Robins and Page (2007) in referring what was formerly called Percina sciera from the Guadalupe drainage to P. apristis. Effective in version 1.0.

Syngnathus scovelli: Syngnathus affinis is no longer recognized and is now a synonym of S. scovelli (Tolan, 2008). Effective in version 2.0.


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Bath, H. 1994. “Untersuchung der Arten Hypleurochilus geminatus (Wood 1825), H. fissicornis (Quoy & Gaimard 1824) und H. aequipinnis (Günther 1861), mit Revalidation von Hypleurochilus multifilis (Girard 1858) und Beschreibung von zwei neuen Arten (Pisces: Blenniidae).” Senckenbergiana Biologica 74: 59–85.

Bessert, Michael. 2006. “Molecular Systematics and Population Structure in the North American Endemic Fish Genus Cycleptus (Teleostei: Catostomidae).” Dissertations and Theses in Biological Sciences, December.

Boschung, Herbert T., Richard L. Mayden, and Joseph R. Tomelleri. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Books.

Bossu, Christen M., and Thomas J. Near. 2009. “Gene Trees Reveal Repeated Instances of Mitochondrial DNA Introgression in Orangethroat Darters (Percidae: Etheostoma).” Systematic Biology 58 (1): 114–29. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syp014.

Bossu, Christen M., Jeremy M. Beaulieu, Patrick A. Ceas, and Thomas J. Near. 2013. "Explicit tests of palaeodrainage connections of southeastern North America and the historical biogeography of orangethroat darters (Percidae: Etheostoma: Ceasia)." Molecular Ecology 22: 5397–5417.

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Echelle, Anthony A., Ma. de Lourdes Lozano Vilano, Sherri Baker, Wade D. Wilson, Alice F. Echelle, Gary P. Garrett, and Robert J. Edwards. 2013. “Conservation Genetics of Gambusia Krumholzi (Teleostei: Poeciliidae) with Assessment of the Species Status of G. Clarkhubbsi and Hybridization with G. Speciosa.” Copeia 2013 (1): 72–79. doi:10.1643/CG-11-167.

Eisenhour, D. J. 2004. “Systematics, Variation, and Speciation of the Macrhybopsis aestivalis Complex West of the Mississippi River.” Bulletin of the Alabama Museum of Natural History 23: 9–48.

Fluker, Brook L., Frank Pezold, and Russell L. Minton. 2011. “Molecular and Morphological Divergence in the Inland Silverside (Menidia beryllina) along a Freshwater-Estuarine Interface.” Environmental Biology of Fishes 91 (3): 311–25. doi:10.1007/s10641-011-9786-2.

Hubbs, Carl L. 1940. “Fishes from the Big Bend Region of Texas.” Transactions of the Texas Academy of Science 23: 3–12.

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 Academy of Science, Austin.

Kreiser, Brian R. 2001. “Mitochondrial Cytochrome B Sequences Support Recognition of Two Cryptic Species of Plains Killifish, Fundulus zebrinus and Fundulus kansae.” The American Midland Naturalist 146 (1): 199–209.

McEachran, John D., and Janice D. Fechhelm. 2010. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico, Volume 2: Scorpaeniformes to Tetraodontiformes. University of Texas Press.

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Piller, Kyle R., Henry L. Bart Jr., and Christopher A. Walser. 2001. “Morphological Variation of the Redfin Darter, Etheostoma whipplei, with Comments on the Status of the Subspecific Populations.” Copeia 2001 (3): 802–7.

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Robins, Robert H., and Lawrence M. Page. 2007. “Taxonomic Status of the Guadalupe Darter, Percina apristis (Teleostei: Percidae).” Zootaxa 1618: 51–60.

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Suttkus, Royal D., Bruce A. Thompson, and Jason K. Blackburn. 2005. “An Analysis of the Menidia Complex in the Mississippi River Valley and in Two Nearby Minor Drainages.” South East Fish Council Proceedings, no. 44: 713–23.

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