Empetrichthys merriami Gilbert, 1893

Ash Meadows killifish, Ash Meadows poolfish



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status

Extinct (Burkhead, 2012)

Last record: 1942 (Miller, 1961); 7 September 1948 (Miller et al. 1989:31)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


Estimated date of extinction: 1953 (Burkhead, 2012)



Ash Meadows, Nevada, USA


Biology & Ecology




USNM 131151.5042701 (1 fish)

USNM 46101.5010963 (3 fish)

USNM 46102.5010964 (2 fish)

USNM 46103.5010965 (1 fish)


See here:






Original scientific 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, Number 7: 229-234. 


Other references:

Beacham, Walton. (1997). World Wildlife Fund Guide to Extinct Species of Modern Times. Beacham Pub. 410 pp. [pp. 272-273]

Burkhead, Noel M. (2012). Extinction Rates in North American Freshwater Fishes, 1900–2010. BioScience 62(9): 798-808.

Campbell, D. C. and Piller, K. R. (2017). Let’s jump in: A phylogenetic study of the great basin springfishes and poolfishes, Crenichthys and Empetrichthys (Cyprinodontiformes: Goodeidae). PLoS ONE 12(10): e0185425.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals: A Natural History of Vanished Species. New York, N.Y.: The Viking Press.

Eigenmann, C. H. (1920). On the Genera Orestias and Empetrichthys. Copeia 89: 103-106.

Grant, E. C. and Riddle, B. R. (1995). Are the endangered springfish (Crenichthys Hubbs) and poolfish (Empetrichthys Gilbert) fundulines or goodeids?: a mitochondrial DNA assessment. Copeia 1995: 209-212.

Jelks, Howard L., Walsh, Stephen J., Burkhead, Noel M., Contreras-Balderas, Salvador, Díaz-Pardo, Edmundo, Hendrickson, Dean A., Lyons, J., Mandrak, Nicholas E., McCormick, Frank, Nelson, Joseph F., Platania, Steven P., Porter, Brady A., Renaud, Claude B., Schmitter-Soto, Juan Jacabo, Taylor, Eric B. and Warren, Melvin L. Jr. (2008). Conservation status of imperiled North American freshwater and diadromous fishes. Fisheries 33(8): 372-407.

David Starr Jordan & Barton Warren Evermann: The fishes of North and Middle America : a descriptive catalogue of the species of fish-like vertebrates found in the waters of North America, north of the Isthmus of Panama, Bulletin of the United National Museum No. 47, Vol. 1, pp 630–702.

La Rivers, I. (1962). Fishes and Fisheries of Nevada. Nevada State Fish and Game Commission, Carson City, Nevada.

Lee, D. S., Gilbert, C. R., Hocutt, C. H., Jenkins, R. E., McAllister, D. E. and Stauffer, J. R. Jr. (1980). Atlas of North American freshwater fishes. North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina. [p. 506]

Miller, Robert Rush. (1948). The cyprinodont fishes of the Death Valley system of eastern California and southwestern Nevada. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Mich. 68: 1-155.

Miller, Robert Rush. (1961). Man and the changing fish fauna of the American southwest. Papers of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters 46: 365-404.

Miller, Robert Rush. (1969). Conservation of fishes in the Death Valley system in California and Nevada. Cal-Nevada Section. The Wildlife Society Transactions 1969: 107-122.

Miller, Robert Rush and Smith, M. L. (1986). Origin and geography of fishes on central Mexico, pp. 487-517. In: Hocutt, C. H. and Wiley, E. O. (eds.). The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Miller, Robert Rush, Williams, J. D. and Williams, J. E. (1989). Extinctions of North American fishes during the past century. Fisheries 14(6): 22-38.

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

Myers, G. S. (1931). The primary groups of oviparous cyprinodont fishes, Order Cyprinodontes (Microcyprini). Stanford University Publications 6: 1-14.

NatureServe. (2013). Empetrichthys merriami. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T7705A15364173. Accessed on 30 June 2022.

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

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

Page, L. M. and Burr, B. M. (2011). Peterson field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, Massachusetts.

Parenti, L. R. (1981). A phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of Cyprinodontiform fishes (Teleostei, Atherinomorpha). Bulletin of the American Museum Natural History 168: 335-557. [p. 516]

La Rivers, Ira. (1962). Fishes and Fisheries of Nevada. Carson City: Nevada State Fish and Game Commission. [p. 520-523]

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

Sokol, O. (1954). To the desert for fishes. Aquarium J. 25: 178-182.

Soltz, D. L. and Naiman, R. J. (1978). The natural history of native fishes in the Death Valley system. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Science Series 30: 1-76.

World Conservation Monitoring Centre. (1996). Empetrichthys merriami. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. ( Downloaded on 12 March 2013.


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