Cyprinodon variegatus - Lacepède, 1803
Sheepshead Minnow
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Cyprinodon variegatus Lacepède, 1803 (TSN 165631)
Spanish Common Names: bolin petota
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105729
Element Code: AFCNB02130
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Fishes - Bony Fishes - Other Bony Fishes
Image 51

© Noel Burkhead

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Actinopterygii Cyprinodontiformes Cyprinodontidae Cyprinodon
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B91ROB01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Cyprinodon variegatus
Taxonomic Comments: Sheepshead minnows in headwater lakes of the Oklawaha River in central Florida have been recognized taxonomically as the Lake Eustis minnow (C. hubbsi or C. variegatus hubbsi), but the characteristics used to separate this form seem likely to be only developmental responses to the lake habitat (Page and Burr 1991). Cyprinodon variegatus Hybridizes with C. pecosensis in Texas/New Mexico. Allozyme data are consistent with the hypothesis that C. variegatus was ancestral to four recognized species (C. bovinus, C. pecosensis, C. rubrofluviatilis, and C. tularosa) from inland drainages associated with the western Gulf of Mexico (Echelle and Echelle 1992).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23Nov2011
Global Status Last Changed: 20Sep1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Dec1996)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S4), Connecticut (SNR), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (SH), Florida (S5), Georgia (SNR), Louisiana (S5), Maryland (SNR), Massachusetts (S4), Mississippi (S5), New Jersey (S4), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (S5), Rhode Island (SNR), South Carolina (SNR), Texas (S5), Virginia (SNR)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes coastal North America from Massachusetts to Yucatan Peninsula; also the West Indies (e.g., Bahamas, Grand Cayman Island; Jamaica) (Burgess and Franz 1989). The species is introduced and established in the Pecos River in western Texas.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but very large (exceeds 1,000,000). This species is common in much of its range.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats are known.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain but likely relatively stable.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Range includes coastal North America from Massachusetts to Yucatan Peninsula; also the West Indies (e.g., Bahamas, Grand Cayman Island; Jamaica) (Burgess and Franz 1989). The species is introduced and established in the Pecos River in western Texas.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, LA, MA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, RI, SC, TX, VA

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
FL Lake (12069), Marion (12083), Orange (12095)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Lower Connecticut (01080205), Cape Cod (01090002), Narragansett (01090004), Pawcatuck-Wood (01090005), Thames (01100003), Quinnipiac (01100004), Saugatuck (01100006)
02 Cohansey-Maurice (02040206), Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207), Mullica-Toms (02040301), Great Egg Harbor (02040302), Chester-Sassafras (02060002), Chincoteague (02060010)
03 Albemarle (03010205), Pamlico (03020104), Pamlico Sound (03020105), Bogue-Core Sounds (03020106), New (03030001), Lower Cape Fear (03030005), Carolina Coastal-Sampit (03040207), Cooper (03050201), South Carolina Coastal (03050202), Broad-St. Helena (03050208), Cumberland-St. Simons (03070203), Upper St. Johns (03080101), Oklawaha (03080102)+, Lower St. Johns (03080103), Daytona - St. Augustine (03080201), Cape Canaveral (03080202), Vero Beach (03080203), Northern Okeechobee Inflow (03090102), Lake Okeechobee (03090201), Everglades (03090202), Big Cypress Swamp (03090204), Caloosahatchee (03090205), Myakka (03100102), Charlotte Harbor (03100103), Sarasota Bay (03100201), Manatee (03100202), Little Manatee (03100203), Tampa Bay (03100206), Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207), Waccasassa (03110101), Econfina-Steinhatchee (03110102), Lower Suwannee (03110205), Apalachee Bay-St. Marks (03120001), Lower Ochlockonee (03120003), Apalachicola (03130011), New (03130013), Apalachicola Bay (03130014), St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101), Choctawhatchee Bay (03140102), Yellow (03140103), Blackwater (03140104), Pensacola Bay (03140105), Perdido (03140106), Perdido Bay (03140107), Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203), Escambia (03140305), Mobile - Tensaw (03160204), Mobile Bay (03160205), Pascagoula (03170006), Escatawpa (03170008), Mississippi Coastal (03170009), Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)*
12 Buffalo-San Jacinto (12040104), Sabine Lake (12040201), East Galveston Bay (12040202), West Galveston Bay (12040204), Austin-Oyster (12040205), Lavaca (12100101), Lower Guadalupe (12100204), Lower San Antonio (12100303), Central Matagorda Bay (12100401), West Matagorda Bay (12100402), East San Antonio Bay (12100403), West San Antonio Bay (12100404), Aransas Bay (12100405), Mission (12100406), Aransas (12100407), North Corpus Christi Bay (12110201), South Corpus Christi Bay (12110202), North Laguna Madre (12110203), Baffin Bay (12110205), Palo Blanco (12110206), Central Laguna Madre (12110207), South Laguna Madre (12110208)
13 International Falcon Reservoir (13080003), Los Olmos (13090001), Lower Rio Grande (13090002)
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed (based on multiple information sources) Help
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Spawns in spring and summer. Female may spawn at intervals several times during season. Eggs hatch in 5-6 days (Thomson et al. 1978).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Marine Habitat(s): Near shore
Estuarine Habitat(s): Bay/sound, Herbaceous wetland, River mouth/tidal river
Riverine Habitat(s): BIG RIVER, CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: This fish is usually near vegetation in relatively shallow brackish or fresh water of bays, inlets, salt marshes, lakes, or tidal rivers. It may be abundant where the bottom is at least partially sandy, emergent vegetation is lacking, and there is little current or wave action. It tolerates high temperature and salinity. Rarely does it occur far inland except in peninsular Florida. Eggs sink and stick together in clumps by numerous threads (Thomson et al. 1978).
Adult Food Habits: Herbivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Mainly a vegetarian (Thomson et al. 1978).
Length: 5 centimeters
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Has been used in carcinogenesis testing (Metcalfe 1989).
Management Summary
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Species Impacts: Introduced C. VARIEGATUS have negatively impacted native gene pool of C. PECOSENSIS; apparently between 1980 and 1984, C. VARIEGATUS was introduced into Pecos River in Texas; by 1985, hybrid swarm of C. PECOSENSIS and C. VARIEGATUS occupied roughly one-half of historic range of PECOSENSIS (Echelle and Connor 1989).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Killifishes (Cyprinodontids)

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs and larvae) in appropriate habitat.
Separation Barriers: Dam lacking a suitable fishway; high waterfall; upland habitat.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Each spring system that is undivided by a barrier constitutes a single distinct occurrence. Otherwise, use a separation distance of 10 km for any type of aquatic habitat.
Separation Justification: Separation distance is arbitrary. Because of the difficulty in defining suitable versus unsuitable habitat, especially with respect to dispersal, and to simplify the delineation of occurrences, a single separation distance is used regardless of habitat quality.
Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 23Nov2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 23Nov2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Allen, C. R., S. Demarais, and R. S. Lutz. 1994. Red imported fire ant impact on wildlife: an overview. The Texas Journal of Science 46(1):51-59.

  • Anderson, Allison A., C. Hubbs, K. O. Winemiller, and R. J. Edwards. 1995. Texas freshwater fish assemblages following three decades of environmental change. The Southwest Naturalist 40(3):314-321.

  • Bahr, L.M. and J.J. Hebrard. 1976. Barataria Basin: Biological Characterization. CWR, LSU. Sea Grant Publication No. LSU-T-76-005.

  • Burgess, G. H., and R. Franz. 1989. Zoogeography of the Antillean freshwater fish fauna. Pages 263-304 in C. A. Woods, ed. Biogeography of the West Indies. Sandhill Crane Press, Gainesville, Florida.

  • ECHELLE, ALICE F. AND ANTHONY A. ECHELLE. 1994. ASSESSMENT OF GENETIC INTROGRESSION BETWEEN TWO PUPFISH SPECIES, CYPRINODON ELEGANS AND CYPRINODON VARIEGATUS (CYPRINODONTIDAE), AFTER MORE THAN 20 YEARS OF SECONDARY CONTACT. COPEIA 1994(3):590-597.

  • ECHELLE, ANTHONY A. AND ALICE F. ECHELLE. 1997. GENETIC INTROGRESSION OF ENDEMIC TAXA BY NON-NATIVES: A CASE STUDY WITH LEON SPRINGS PUPFISH AND SHEEPSHEAD MINNOW. CONSERV. BIOL. 11(1):153-161.

  • ECHELLE, ANTHONY A., CHRISTOPHER W. HOAGSTROM, ALICE F. ECHELLE, AND JAMES E. BROOKS. 1997. EXPANDED OCCURRENCE OF GENETICALLY INTROGRESSED PUPFISH (CYPRINODONTIDAE: CYPRINODON PECOSENSIS X VARIEGATUS) IN NEW MEXICO. SOUTHWEST. NAT. 42(3):336-339.

  • ECHELLE, ANTONY A. AND ALICE F. ECHELLE. 1998. EVOLUTIONARY RELATIONSHIPS OF PUPFISHES IN THE CYPRINODON EXIMIUS COMPLEX (ANTHERINOMORPHA: CYPRINODONTIFORMES). COPEIA 1998(4):852-865.

  • EDWARDS, ROBERT J. AND SALVADOR CONTRERAS-BALDERAS. 1991. HISTORICAL CHANGES IN THE ICHTHIOFAUNA OF THE LOWER RIO GRANDE (RIO BRAVO DEL NORTE), TEXAS AND MEXICO. SOUTHWEST. NAT. 36(2):201-212.

  • Echelle, A. A., and A. F. Echelle. 1992. Mode and pattern of speciation in the evolution of inland pupfishes in the Cyprinodon variegatus complex (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae): an ancestor-descendant hypothesis. Pages 691-709 in R. L. Mayden, editor. Systematics, historical ecology, and North American freshwater fishes. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. xxvi + 969 pp.

  • Echelle, A. A., and A. F. Echelle. 1993. Allozyme perspective on mitochondrial DNA variation and evolution of the Death Valley pupfishes (Cyprinodontidae: CYPRINODON). Copeia 1993:275-287.

  • Echelle, A. A., and P. J. Connor. 1989. Rapid, geographically extensive genetic introgression after secondary contact between two pupfish species (Cyprinodon, Cyprinodontidae). Evolution 43:717-727.

  • Greeley, J.R. 1939. Fishes and habitat conditions of the shore zone based upon July and August seining investigations. pp. 72-91 in a biological survey of the salt waters of Long Island. Suppl. to 28th annual report, 1938. Albany, NY.

  • Greeley, J.R. 1939. The freshwater fishes of Long Island and Staten Island with annotated list. pp 29-63. In: New York Conservation Department: A biological survey of the fresh waters of Long Island. Suppl. to 28th ann. report, 1938. Albany, NY.

  • HUBBS, C., T. LUCIER, G. P. GARRETT, R. J. EDWARDS, S. M. DEAN, E. MARSH, AND D. BELK. 1978. SURVIVAL AND ABUNDANCE OF INTRODUCED FISHES NEAR SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS. TEXAS J. SCI. 30(4): 369-376.

  • Herke, W.H., B.D. Rogers, and J.A. Grimes. 1984. Sabine fisheries study. Louisiana Coop. Fish Wildl. Res. Unit, LSU Baton Rouge. 2 vols.

  • Herke, W.H., et al. 1986. Draft final report of the Cameron Creole watershed fisheries investigations. 2 vols. LSU, Cooperative Fish. Wildl. Res. Unit.

  • Hoese, H. D., and R.H. Moore. 1977. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Texas A & M University Press, College Station. 327pp.

  • Metcalfe, C. D. 1989. Tests for predicting carcinogenicity in fish. Reviews in Aquatic Sciences 1(1):111-129.

  • Moertle, R. J. 1976. A trawl and wing net study of the Icthtyofauna of the Caminada Bay estuarine system, La. M.S. thesis, LSU, Baton Rouge. 120pp.

  • Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Perez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, and J. D. Williams. 2004. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 29, Bethesda, Maryland. 386 pp.

  • Page, L. M., H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea, N. E. Mandrak, R. L. Mayden, and J. S. Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Seventh edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

  • Page, L. M., and B. M. Burr. 2011. Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Second edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. xix + 663 pp.

  • Page, LM, H.Espinoza-Perez, L.Findley, C.Gilbert, R. Lea, N. Mandrak, R.Mayden and J.Nelson. 2013. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, 7th edition. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 34, Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Perry, W. Guthrie, and Brandon J. Carter. Seasonal occurrence of fishes collected from beach seining, Southwest LA. 1979. La. Acad. of Sci. 42( ): 24-38.

  • ROSS, STEPHEN T. 1996. INLAND FISHES OF MISSISSIPPI. SELECTED SPECIES ACCOUNTS. COAUTHORED WITH W.M. BRENNEMAM, W.T. SLACK, M.T. O'CONNELL, AND T.L. PETERSON. ILLUSTRATED BY D.G. ROSS. DRAFT COPY.

  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20. 183 pp.

  • SHIPLEY, FRANK S. 1991. OIL FIELD-PRODUCED BRINES IN A COASTAL STREAM: WATER QUALITY AND FISH COMMUNITY RECOVERY FOLLOWING LONG TERM IMPACTS. TEXAS J. SCI. 43(1):51-64.

  • Smith, C.L. 1985. The Inland Fishes of New York State. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Albany, NY. 522pp.

  • Thomson, K. S., W. H. Weed III, A. G. Taruski, and D. E. Simanek. 1978. Saltwater fishes of Connecticut. 2nd edition. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Conservation, Bulletin 105. viii + 186 pp.

  • Walls, J.G. 1975. Fishes of the northern Gulf of Mexico. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Ltd., N.J. 432pp.

References for Watershed Distribution Map
  • Boschung, H. T., and R. L. Mayden. 2004. Fishes of Alabama. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. 960 pp.

  • Gilbert, C.R. (editor). 1992. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida. Volume II. Fishes. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. xl + 247 pp.

  • Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1980. Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. i-x + 854 pp.

  • Menhinick, E. F. 1991. The freshwater fishes of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. 227 pp.

  • Ross, S. T., and W. M. Brenneman. 1991. Distribution of freshwater fishes in Mississippi. Freshwater Fisheries Report No. 108. D-J Project Completion Report F-69. Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Parks. Jackson, Mississippi. 548 pp.

  • Whitworth, W. R., P. L. Berrien, and W. T. Keller. 1976. Freshwater fishes of Connecticut. Bulletin of the Connecticut Geological and Natural History Survey 101. vi + 134 pp.

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