Crenichthys baileyi (in process)

Crenichthys baileyi baileyi
Crenichthys baileyi baileyi
Crenichthys baileyi baileyi
Crenichthys baileyi baileyi
Crenichthys baileyi baileyi
Crenichthys baileyi baileyi
Crenichthys baileyi albivallis
Crenichthys baileyi albivallis
Crenichthys baileyi thermophilus
Crenichthys baileyi grandis
Crenichthys baileyi grandis
Crenichthys baileyi grandis
Crenichthys baileyi grandis
Crenichthys baileyi grandis
English Name: 
White River Springfish
Original Description: 

  GILBERT, C. H. (1893): Report on the fishes of the Death Valley expedition collected in southern California and Nevada in 1891, with descriptions of new species. North American Fauna Nr. 7, part II, Washington: pp 229 - 384

Holotype: 

  Collection-numbers: United States National Museum, Cat. No. USNM-46110 (6 specimens), Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University), Cat No. MCZ-5996 (2 specimens), Syracuse University, Cat. No. SU-709 (3 specimens).

  The types are 11 immature specimens (< 20mm), collected by Clinton H. Merriam and Vernon O. Bailey on May 25th, 1891.

  As Gilbert's types of this species were immature, Williams and Wilde (1981) decided to chose two Topotypes from Ash Spring, one of each sex, to serve as representatives of the species. As male Topotype serves a specimen of 30.1mm standard length, as female one a specimen of 35,4mm SL, both deposited in the Museum of Zoology in Michigan under the Cat. No. UMMZ-203331 and collected with 29 additional specimens (Arizona State University, ASU-5196) of 21 to 44mm SL by the later president of the Desert Fishes Council, James E. Deacon on June 10th, 1967.

Terra typica: 

  Gilbert didn't name a precise type locality, the only information available according the types is "Pahranagat Valley, Nevada".

  According to the terra typica, here the appraisal of Willams and Wilde (1981): "The failure of Gilbert to list the specific locality of collection in Pahranagat Valley presents a problem since three springs in the valley, Ash, Crystal, and Hiko, harbored populations of springfish. Hiko would seem to be eliminated as the type locality since it is somewhat removed from the river bed and therefore the route of travel. The area near Ash Spring was frequented by travelers at that time and probably was a stopping place for Merriam and Bailey. That Merriam and Bailey collected fishes at Ash Spring is supported by the report of their collection of Rhinichthys in a spring of 36.11°C as described by Gilbert (1893). Ash spring is the only spring of that temperature in Pahranagat Valley, and therefore, the probable type locality of Crenichthys baileyi."

Etymology: 

  The species' name honours one of the collectors of the type material and member of the Death Valley Expedition in 1891, Vernon Orlando Bailey

  The genus was erected by Hubbs in 1932 with the generic name refering to the typical habitat of this genus, namely springs. It is derived from the ancient Greek with κρήνη (kréne or créne) meaning spring and ἰχθύς (íchthús, íchthýs), the Greek word for fish. The name of the genus simply means "Springfish". 

Synonyms: 

Cyprinodon macularius baileyi   Gilbert, 1893

Distribution and ESU's: 

  Crenichthys baileyi historically occured in a handfull of springs in the headwaters of the White River in Preston, White Pine County, then in few hot water springs in right affluents of the White River further downstream in Nye County, and three more warm spring areas along the Pahranagat Wash above Alamo, Lincoln County. Fish in and around five warm water springs in the headwaters of the Muddy River, Clark County probably belong to a separate species (Crenichthys cf. baileyi).  

 

  ESU ist short for Evolutionarily Significant Unit. Each unit expresses an isolated population with different genetic characteristics within one species. ESU's can be defined by Molecular geneticsMorphology and/or Zoogeography and help in indicating different phylogenetic lineages within a species. The abbreviation for an ESU is composed of three letters of the genus, followed by the first two letters of the species name and an ongoing number in each species.

  In the subfamily Empetrichyinae, no ESU's were in use so far. To align with the livebearing subfamily Goodeinae, the GWG wants to bring a system in use based on John Lyons' naming for this subfamily. In Crenichthys nevadae, we actually (until the new species is described) distinguish five ESU's based on genetics and biogeography. Creba1 encompasses the type population from Ash Spring (corresponding with C. b. baileyi), Creba2 the neighbouring one from Crystal and Hiko Springs (C. b. grandis). We suggest Creba3 for the fish from Preston (C. b. albivallis) and Creba4 for the fish from Moon, Moorman and Hot Springs (C. b. thermophilus). Those last two ESU's are genetically almost identical, nevertheless we place them in two separate ESU's for not violating the existing system with subspecies too much, but also for taking account of the geographic separation. The fifth and last ESU, Creba5, we want to bring in use for the Muddy River populations (C. b. moapae), that represents a subspecies that probably deserves full species rank (for more details about these fish, go to Crenichthys cf. baileyi). 

 

 The left map shows the Lower Colorado-Lake Mead Accounting Unit (HUC 150100) of the Lower Colorado Basin Region (HUC 15), the right map the White River Cataloging Unit (HUC 15010011):

 Crenichthys baileyi basinCrenichthys baileyi subbasin

Status : 

  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Endangered

  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (ECOS): listed per subspecies

C.b.albivallis: not listed

C.b.baileyi: Endangered

C.b.grandis: Endangered

C.b.thermophilus: not listed

Habitat: 

This species inhabits hot springs and their outflows at high temperatures from 26 to 37°C, only Preston Big Spring (home of C. b. albivallis) shows lower temperature.  

Biology: 

Some subspecies show a high tolerance to low concentration of dissolved oxygen and high temperatures.

Diet: 

Crenichthys baileyi is an opportunistic omnivore. Studies concerning the gut contents of C. b. thermophilus showed a high percentage of invertebrates, more than 75% in summer and more than 40% in winter. C. b. albivallis showed a preference for algae, but some individuals preferred insect larvae most.

Size: 
The maximum known SL is 65mm (C. baileyi grandis).
Colouration: 

The colouration of the subspecies concurs in some points: The back is coloured olivaceous, the sides have a dark lateral line that reaches from the eye to the caudal fin. The belly shows a greyish yellow. The top of the back is marked with a dark line reaching from the head to the dorsal fin. The intensity of the colouration may be realized in varying degrees and depends on subspecies, sex, age and mood. 

   The unpaired fins of the males are sligthly coloured and may show broad dark margins. The fins of the females may show a sligthly yellowish shade. Colour seems to differ more between immature and mature individuals than between the subspecies.

   There is only limited information available about the colouration of some populations.

Remarks: 

 

Subspecies:

  Crenichthys baileyi albivallis Williams & Wilde, 1981

  Crenichthys baileyi baileyi (Gilbert, 1893)

  Crenichthys baileyi grandis Williams & Wilde, 1981

  Crenichthys baileyi thermophilus Williams & Wilde, 1981

Terra typicae:

Crenichthys baileyi albivallis: Preston Big Spring, White Pine County, Nevada, USA

Crenichthys baileyi baileyi: Ash Spring, Lincoln County, Nevada, USA

Crenichthys baileyi grandis: Hiko Spring, Lincoln County, Nevada, USA

Crenichthys baileyi thermophilus: Mormon Spring, Nye County, Nevada, USA

etymology: 

  Thermophilus is derived from the Greek, meaning "loves warmth", referring to the habitat with conspicous warm water, where this subspecies can be found.

  Grandis is derived from the Latin meaning "big", because this subspecies is the biggest one.

  Albivallis is derived from the Latin, meaning "White Valley", in referrence to the restriction of this subspecies to the Valley of the White River.

 

  Description of Subspecies:

  WILLIAMS, J. E. & G. R. WILDE (1981): Taxonomic status and morphology of isolated populations of the white river springfish, Crenichthys baileyi (Cyprinodontidae), Southwestern Naturalist v.25, Nr. 4: pp 485 - 503

Collection-numbers of the 4 remaining subspecies:

Crenichthys baileyi albivallis: Collection-number: Unversity of Michigan Museum and Zoology, Cat. No. UMMZ-203332.

The Holotype is an adult male, 42.3mm SL, collected by J. E. Deacon on 10.10.1966.

Crenichthys baileyi grandis: Collection.number: Unversity of Michigan Museum and Zoology, Cat. No. UMMZ-203336.

The Holotype is a mature male, 45.5mm SL, collected by J. E. Deacon on 03/04.06.1966.

Crenichthys baileyi thermophilus: Collection-number: Unversity of Michigan Museum and Zoology, Cat. No. UMMZ-203334.

The Holotype is an adult male, 32.4mm SL, collected by J. E. Deacon on 04.04.1965

 

The Hiko White River springfish (Crenichthys baileyi grandis) has been transplanted into Blue Link Spring in Mineral County (about 240 specimens in 1985). The reason therefore had been a dramatic decimation of fish in Hiko and Crystal spring through the introduction of largemouth bass and tropical aquarium fish (Sevon and Delany, 1987). While the populations in Hiko and Crystal spring remain small, the introduced one in Blue Link increased in numbers, encompassing 5.500 individuals in 1994. Nevertheless, it is absolutely worth considering, why several organisations introduce game fish to habitats and others have to transplant the native fish to the next one to keep them alive.

 

   The White River springfish (Crenichthys baileyi baileyi) that inhabits the Ash spring thermal system with 6 main springs near the tiny village of Ash Springs in Lincoln County (about 150 people) is threatened by alteration of the habitat and introduction of common carps and exotic fish. The spring pool was modified many years ago by construction of a small dam, creating a large pond for recreation which now contains introduced shortfin mollies, mosquitofish, and carp. The nominate form is a rare fish meanwhile in Ash Springs.

   The Preston White River springfish (Crenichthys baileyi albivallis) was found in the 1960s in six connected spring systems, but by 1991 it remained in only four systems in the upper White River which were no longer connected due to water diversions and agricultural and domestic use, thereby eliminating the opportunity for genetic mixing among populations. Reasons for the disappearance of this subspecies from two springs are not definitively known, but both springs contain large populations of introduced guppies, which have been documented to prey on larvae of other fishes.

   The Moorman or Mormon White River springfish (Crenichthys baileyi thermophilus) is endemic to three small springs, the Moorman, Moon River and Hot Creek Spring. Williams and Wilde wrote about this subspecies in 1981: "Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) entered Hot Creek Spring in the early 1970's from Dacey Reservoir, where they had been introduced as game fish. It was thought that the bass had extirpated the springfish until personnel from the Nevada Department of Fish and Game discovered a group of springfish separated from the main pool area by dense emergent vegetation. Hot Creek Spring was poisoned and the isolated springfish were introduced into the main pool area after a barrier to prohibit entry of bass was repaired. Despite the barrier, one bass, probably introduced by fishermen, was observed in the main pool area in 1979. The proximity of bass to Hot Creek Spring can be expected to result in additional intentional or accidental introductions in the future. Viable populations currently exist in all springs inhabited by C. h. thermophilus. This subspecies formerly was common in the warm outflow of Hot Creek Spring. It has been extirpated there by largemouth bass."

   In 1940 and 1941, Sumner and Sargent expperimented with desert fishes out of different temperatured springs, among them Crenichthys baileyi from Preston spring (albivallis, T= 21°C) and Mormon spring (thermophilus, T= 37°C). They observed, that Preston spring fish "speedily died when transferred to Mormon spring. When the converse experiment is performed, they live in health for some days, and may perhaps do so indefinitely." They showed that fish from warm springs have a far higher rate of oxygen consumption than fishes of the same species living in a cool spring. The ratio, when fishes of approximately the same weight are compared, was not far from 2 to 1. 

 

  Species of the subfamily Empetrichthyinae are oviparous fishes and share the lack of pelvic fins, while the subfamily Goodeinae is livebearing. Lynne Parenti (1981) finally proposed this subfamily as sister group to the Goodeinae and encompassed both in the family Goodeidae. Meanwhile the monophyly of the family Goodeidae and the narrow relationship between both subfamilies has been supported through several studies since the 1980's and is not doubted any longer.

Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) entered Hot Creek Spring in the early 1970's from Dacey Reservoir, where they had been introduced as game fish. It was thought that the bass had extirpated the springfish until personnel from the Nevada Department of Fish and Game discovered a group of springfish separated from the main pool area by dense emergent vegetation. Hot Creek Spring was poisoned and the isolated springfish were introduced into the main pool area after a barrier to prohibit entry of bass was repaired. Despite the barrier, one bass, probably introduced by fishermen, was observed in the main pool area in 1979. The proximity of bass to Hot Creek Spring can be expected to result in additional intentional or accidental introductions in the future. Viable populations currently exist in all springs inhabited by C. h. thermophilus. This subspecies formerly was common in the warm outflow of Hot Creek Spring. It has been extirpated there by largemouth bass.