Puneet Varma (Editor)

Gila seminuda

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Kingdom  Animalia
Order  Cypriniformes
Genus  Gila
Higher classification  Gila
Phylum  Chordata
Family  Cyprinidae
Scientific name  Gila seminuda
Rank  Species
Similar  Woundfin, Gila, Virgin spinedace, Spinedace, Gila nigra

The Virgin Chub is a medium-sized, silvery minnow, generally less than 15 cm long and reaching lengths of 25 cm. The back, breast, and part of the belly are embedded with small scales, naked in some individuals. The length of the head divided by the depth of the caudal peduncle typically results in a ratio of 4.0 to 5.0 (rarely exceeding 5.0, which approximates G. elegans). The scales are typically lacking basal radii or are with extremely faint lines.



The Gila seminuda is restricted to the Virgin River in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. The Arizona range of the Virgin Chub is restricted to the Virgin River within Mohave County.


In its native habitat, G. seminuda occurs only in the mainstream of the Virgin River (Water within the Virgin River is generally somewhat warm, turbid, and saline), and very rarely in the immediate mouths of its major tributaries. The Virgin Chub is most common in deeper areas where waters are swift, but not turbulent, and most often is associated with boulders or other types of cover.

Population Trends

The Virgin Chub is continuing to decline. In 1988 an attempt to remove red shiners (which are a common competitor with the Virgin Chub) from 35 km of habitat on the Virgin River, ended in failure as populations of Virgin Chub continued to be decimated by other factors including habitat modifications.

Management Factors

Activities that are known to be detrimental to Virgin Chub populations are the de-watering of habitats through the re-routing of stream water, stream impoundment, channelization, domestic livestock grazing, timber harvesting, mining, road construction, polluting, and stocking non-natives.

Threats: widespread modification and reduction of habitat; dewatering by agricultural diversion; increased temperature, salinity, and turbidity of the Virgin River; introduction of non-native fish and parasite species.

Management Needs: protect and enhance habitat, including water quantity and quality; ameliorate effects of nonnative fish species in chub waters; re-establish additional populations.

Hybrid Origin

The Virgin chub likely evolved via introgressive hybridization between the roundtail chub, G. robusta, and the bonytail chub, G. elegans. Evidence for a hybrid origin of the Virgin chub is based on morphology and allozymes. The mitochondrial DNA of the Virgin chub is nearly identical to that of G. elegans.


Gila seminuda Wikipedia

Similar Topics
Gila nigra
Virgin spinedace