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Desert Pupfish Diet - Identify the insect

  • January 04, 2020 3:55 PM
    Message # 8477599

    Hi all, we visited Death Valley over the holiday and a highlight was seeing the Desert Pupfish on the Salt Creek Trail. These amazing fish can live in high salinity, low oxygen, and high temperatures. Here at Salt Creek, they survive at 200 feet below sea-level. the trail is North of Furnace Creek with 1 mile dirt road passable with most cards. A 1/2 mile walk out and back has a boardwalk and informative signage along the way.

    The Pupfish species is both a Federal and State Endangered Species. What I found interesting and wanted to share was the Entomology we discovered.

    We were fortunate that we found Pupfish moving in the Creek (a mere 1 inch long) and we had our cameras. This was in the lower section in the Wintertime with flowing water. These fish we will not survive the summer in this section unless they move upstream to the deeper sections. 

    We did identify insects moving around in Salt Creek. I thought they were caddis from a funnel-shaped 'case' similar to the Brachycentridae caddisfly discussed in the TVFF Entomology class, that held last year. It's being offered again in 2020, see here:

    If you are interested, check out this article online on the Pupfish. They are a fascinating species. It discusses some bizarre mating and diet scenarios of the Pupfish!

    Thanks, Kent McCammon

    Last modified: January 04, 2020 8:38 PM | Mark Spruiell (Administrator)
  • January 04, 2020 3:59 PM
    Reply # 8477619 on 8477599

     What type of insect is in Salt Creek?

    Take a look and reply with your answer of what type of insect inhabits Salt Creek where the Desert Pupfish lives.

    This short video shows insects observed in the creek in large numbers.

    See the still photo showing two Pupfish at the top right of frame. They are side by side below the rock, showing them 'spooning' as a pair of Pupfish.

    Last modified: January 05, 2020 3:00 PM | Mark Spruiell (Administrator)
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