Phantom shiner

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Phantom shiner
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Genus: Notropis
Species: N. orca
Binomial name
Notropis orca
Woolman, 1894

The phantom shiner (Notropis orca) is an extinct species of fish. It was once endemic to the Rio Grande basin and ranged from central New Mexico to southernmost Texas and adjacent Tamaulipas. Once found in the warm water reaches of the Rio Grande (though never particularly abundant), no specimens have been collected since 1949, and it is believed to be extinct.

The native range of the phantom shiner was the Rio Grande from Espanola downstream to Brownsville, Texas. In New Mexico, it was documented only in the reach from Espanola to Socorro.

Specimens of the phantom shiner have been collected only irregularly (three times in 1939) in a 60 km reach of the middle Rio Grande between Isleta and Bernardo. A single specimen was taken from the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park in 1953 representing the only known example of the species in the river between El Paso and the mouth of the Pecos River. In 1959 Trevino-Robinson reported the phantom shiner as abundant in the lower Rio Grande in Texas, downstream from the Pecos River confluence. The last known specimen was recorded in Mexico in 1975.

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