We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Pupfish?

By J.L. Drede
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Pupfish is the common name for small killfish that make up the Cyprinodontidae family of fish. The ray-finned fish are well-known for hardiness, and are often found in waters that most other fish would die in. There are approximately 100 different species of pupfish, most of all are found exclusively in the United States. All species of the fish are small, the biggest reaching a length of about 8 inches (22 cm), and nearly all thrive best in brackish freshwater lakes although some species are found in coastal marine areas.

As mentioned before, pupfish are routinely found in areas that most would assume would be uninhabitable for most fish. Species of pupfish have been found in the shallow, hot and extremely salty waters of Death Valley, making them the only species of fish that is known to survive in the harsh desert. These pupfish are very small, usually only growing to about 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) in length.

It is silver in appearance, with dark coloration covering its sides. The fish is scaled and its mouth is upturned, traits shared by many other species in the family. It is a short-lived species as well, and most don't make it to a full year. During the winter months is usually lies dormant by burrowing holes in the muddy waters until spring comes, which is spawning season.

Another prominent species of pupish is the Devil's Hole pupfish, named after its only known location, the Devil's Hole, a large geothermal limestone cavern found in the Amargosa Desert in Nevada. This species of pupfish is the smallest desert pupfish and is less than an inch (2.5 cm) in length. It is similar in appearance to other species of the fish otherwise, and have large dorsal and caudal fins that a blue in color, just like the body of the fish.

The water of Devil's Hole is extremely hot, usually peaking around 93 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius), making the pupfish one of the few fish species that is known to survive in near-boiling water conditions. Devil's Hole is the only place where this species is known to live, making it a very rare fish. Since wildlife groups began monitoring the fish in the 1990s the maximum population observed has been around 500 and numbers have dropped as low as 38. Efforts to help maintain the population by introducing a foreign food supply seems to have helped stem off further declines.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.