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Astyanax mexicanus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII CHARACIFORMES CHARACIDAE

Scientific Name: Astyanax mexicanus
Species Authority: (De Filippi, 1853)
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Tetra, Sardina Ciega
Taxonomic Notes: Formerly included as a subspecies of A. fasciatus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-10-21
Assessor(s): NatureServe
Reviewer(s): Smith, K. & Darwall, W.R.T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Ormes, M.
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent of occurrence, large number of subpopulations, large population size, apparently stable trend, and lack of major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This fish is native to eastern and central Mexico and the lower Rio Grande, Pecos, and Nueces river drainages in Texas and New Mexico; it may also occur in Guatemala and Belize, but records from these areas are disputed (Miller 2005, Page and Burr 2011). It is now established in stream on the Edwards Plateau in Texas (Page and Burr 2011) and has been collected elsewhere in the southwestern and south-central United States; the species' range has expanded through use of it as bait. Formerly, in the northern part of the range (e.g., New Mexico), it probably colonized streams during high water, then was decimated by cold winters; dams now limit or prevent this pattern (Sublette et al. 1990).
Countries:
Native:
Mexico; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations).

Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 1,000,000. Locally, this species is very abundant (Miller 2005).

Trend over the past 10 years or three generation is uncertain but probably relatively stable.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This fish occurs in various stream and river habitats; it is most abundant in rock- and sand-bottomed pools and backwaters; also in caves in Mexico (if those populations are conspecific). In Mexico, this fish occurs in river pools and fairly shallow backwaters in moderate current (Miller 2005). Habitats in Arizona include swift rapids, eddies, and pools. In New Mexico, it occurs primarily in habitats with stenothermal flows (springs) (Sublette et al. 1990); young have been observed in shallow water near overhanging bank vegetation.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is of minor value in commercial aquaria.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known in most of the range. In New Mexico (where rare), this fish is apparently extirpated from the Rio Grande drainage; probably it was negatively affected by habitat degradation caused by overgrazing, siltation, channelization, and water diversions; possibly also affected by severely cold winters of the 1960s (Sublette et al. 1990).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research actions.

Citation: NatureServe 2013. Astyanax mexicanus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 September 2014.
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