Tag Archives: Texas

Cyprinella lutrensis ssp. blairi (Hubbs)

Maravillas Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis ssp. blairi)

The Maravillas Red Shiner was restricted to the Garden Springs and the Pena Colorado Creek, which are a part of the Maravillas Creek drainage, a tributary of the Rio Grande in the Big Bend region of Texas, USA.

This subspecies reached a length of about 4,4 cm

The Maravillas Red Shiner disappeared in the late 1950s due to competition with introduced, invasive Plains Killifish (Fundulus zebrinus Jordan & Gilbert).


Some biologists consider the Maravillas Red Shiner synonymous with the nominate form.


Red Shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis (Baird & Girard)); nominate form

Photo: Marine discovery



edited: 18.05.2022

Tryonia circumstriata (Leonard & Ho)

Striped Tryonia (Tryonia circumstriata)

The Striped Tryonia was described in 1960, apparently originally from fossil speciemens collected from Pleistocene deposits on the right bank of the Pecos River in Chandler County, Texas, USA.

The species was later found in the Diamond Y Draw in Pecos County (originally described as a distinct species, Stockton’s Tryonia (Tryonia stocktonensis Taylor) in 1987, but then synonymized with this species). [1]

It appears to be extinct now, however.



[1] Robert Hershler: Systematics of the North and Central American aquatic snail genus Tryonia (Rissooidea: Hydrobiidae) Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 612: 1-53. 2001


edited: 02.05.2019

Euonymus atropurpureus var. cheatumii Lundell

Cheatum’s Wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus var. cheatumii)

Cheatum’s Wahoo, a variety of the American Wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus Jacq.), is known only from a single population that was restricted again to a single place in Dallas County, Texas, USA.

This single population is believed to have been destroyed by insects (which insects?) in 1944, the variety is now regarded as being extinct.


edited: 27.01.2020

Paronychia maccartii Correll

Mccart’s Whitlow-Wort (Paronychia maccartii)  

Mccart’s Whitlow-Wort, a member of the Pink family, was endemic to Texas, USA, where it was restricted to a single locality in Webb County.  

The species appears to be known exclusively from the type material, that had been collected in 1962, it was never found again since and is thus considered very likely extinct.  


edited: 22.03.2018

Hesperotestudo wilsoni (Milstead)

Wilson’s Tortoise (Hesperotestudo wilsoni)

Wilson’s Tortoise is a Pleistocene species that apparently survived into the earliest Holocene, about 9050 BC, so falls just within the timespan this blog is covereing.

The carapace of this species reached a length of about 23 cm.


edited: 06.09.2020

Brickellia brachyphylla var. terlinguensis (Flyr) B. L. Turner

Terlingua Brickellbush (Brickellia brachyphyllai var. terlinguensis)


The Terlingua Brickellbush is a variety of the Plumed Brickellbush (Brickellia brachyphylla (A. Gray) A. Gray) (see photo below); it is, or maybe was, restricted to the Chisos Mountains in Brewster County in western Texas, USA.

This form might now be extinct.


Plumed Brickellbush (Brickellia brachyphylla)

Photo: Craig Martin

(public domain)


edited: 25.04.2022

Symphoricarpos guadalupensis Correll

McKittrick’s Snowberry (Symphoricarpos guadalupensis)

McKittrick’s Snowberry was described in 1968; it is known only form a single locality in the southern McKittrick Canyon in the Guadalupe Mountains in western Texas, USA.

The species can be distinguished from the closely related Palmer’s Snowberry (Symphoricarpos palmeri G. N. Jones) (see photo below), which is found in the same locality, by its rather hairless stems and branches.

McKittrick’s Snowberry is known only from a single collection and might be extinct now.


Palmer’s Snowberry (Symphoricarpos palmeri)

Photo: Curren Frasch



[1] Charles D. Bell: Towards a species level phylogeny of Symphoricarpos (Caprifoliaceae) based on nuclear and chloroplast DNA. Systematic Botany 35(2): 442-450. 2010


edited: 22.02.2024

Isoperla jewetti Szczytko & Stewart

Grande Stripetail Stonefly (Isoperla jewetti)  

This species was described in 1976 from specimens that had been collected in 1939 from a single location in El Paso County, Texas, which is now completely destroyed by agriculture.  

The species is furthermore known from a single specimen collected in Huerfano County, Colorado, and from at least six nymph specimens that were collected in Dona Ana County, New Mexico.  

The Grande Stripetail Stonefly was not recorded since 1980 and is most likely extinct.  


edited: 31.10.2017

Hedeoma pilosa R. S. Irving

Old Blue False Pennyroyal (Hedeoma pilosa)

This species was a perennial herb that formed mats about 4 cm high.

The Old Blue False Pennyroyal is known exclusively from a single specimen that was collected (apparently in 1940) at a limestone overhang in the Glass Mountains in Brewster County in western Texas, USA.

The species was not recorded since and probably is extinct.


edited: 12.04.2019

Calephelis freemani McAlpine

Freeman’s Metalmark (Calephelis freemani 

Freeman’s Metalmark lived in the Davis Mountains in western Texas. The adult butterflies reached a wingspan of 2 to 2,9 cm, their caterpillars obviously fed on the leaves of the Havana Snakeroot (Ageratina havanensis (Kunth) R. M. King & H. Robinson).  

The species was last found in the year 1951 and is considered possibly extinct.  


Freeman’s Metalmark is very similar to Rawson’s Metalmark (Calephelis rawsoni McAlpine) (see photograph), and both species are often treated as conspecific.  


Rawson’s Metalmark (Calephelis rawsoni)  

Photo: Nick Block  

(under creative commons license (4.0)) 


edited: 18.03.2017

Proboscidea spicata Correll

Many-flowered Unicorn-Plant (Proboscidea spicata)

The Many-flowered Unicorn-Plant, described in 1968, is known from widely separated populations in Mexico as well as in Texas, USA, where it is known to have occurred at dry, sandy terraces along the Rio Grande as well as in other disturbed sandy habitats.

The species can be distinguished from other, closely related species by its spicate inflorescences with numerous small flowers.

The Many-flowered Unicorn-Plant was last recorded in 1967, it was never found again subsequently and is possibly extinct now.


Photo: Harvard University Herbaria: Vascular Plants of North America (Harvard)



edited: 24.08.2022

Melanoplus spretus (Walsh)

Rocky Mountain Locust (Melanoplus spretus)

The Rocky Mountain Locust inhabited a large range., including Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan in Canada and Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming in the USA.  

The full-grown adults reached lengths of about 3 cm.  


The species formerly formed seasonally swarms of giant sizes, which then devastated large areas of North America, destroying countless crops, and causing famines.  

It is said that the locust plague did not spared cotton clothing or leather when found, and it is furthermore claimed, that they may have even eaten wooden fencing posts.  

These last assertions, however, are probably pure fantasy.  


The last large swarms were recorded in the years between 1873 and 1877, the last specimens were finally collected in Manitoba, Canada in 1902.  

The reasons for the extinction of this once so common species are not well known, but it has been argued that plowing and irrigation by settlers in the Great Plains disrupted their natural life cycle in the areas they lived in, so it is reported that farmers destroyed over 150 egg cases per square inch while plowing, harrowing or flooding. [1]  



[1] Jeffrey A. Lockwood: Locust: The Devastating Rise and Mysterious Disappearance of the Insect that Shaped the American Frontier. New York: Basic Books 2004  


females laying eggs 
growth stages

Depictions from: ‘Francis Huntington Snow: The more destructive grasshoppers of Kansas. University of Kansas Bulletin of the Department of Entomology (Topeka, KS: J. S. Parks, October 1897)’

(not in copyright) 


edited: 13.03.2017

Tryonia oasiensis Hershler, H. P. Liu & Landye

Oasis Tryonia Snail (Tryonia oasiensis)

The Oasis Tryonia Snail was described in 2011 based on specimens that had been collected earlier.

The species was restricted to a single site, Caroline Spring, a complex of large springs in the lower Pecos River basin in Texas, USA. These springs discharge into two large ponds which were formerly used for recreational purposes, the snail was found along the edges of a short reach of the outflow of one of these ponds, where the temperature was 20°C.

The Oasis Tryonia Snail could not be detected during subsequent visits in 2011 and may in fact be extinct. [1]



[1] Robert Hershler; Hsiu-Ping Liu; J. Jerry Landeye: New species and records of springsnails (Caenogastropoda: Cochliopidae: Tryonia) from the Chihuahuan Desert (Mexico and United States), an imperiled biodiversity hotspot. Zootaxa 3001: 1-32. 2011


edited: 02.05.2019

Amphinaias couchiana (Lea)

Rio Grande Monkeyface (Amphinaias couchiana)  

The Rio Grande Monkeyface is known, on the one hand, from subfossil remains from the Pecos River drainage in New Mexico, USA, but on the other hand also from live specimens from the Rio Grande in Texas, USA as well as from the Río Conchos in Chihuahua and from the Río Salado in Tamaulipas (both in Mexico).  

The last living specimes of this species have been collected in the year 1898 near Bracketville in the Kinney County in Texas.  


The Rio Grande Monkeyface is very possibly extinct, there exists, however, a vaguely possibility, that a population may still survive at least somewhere in Mexico.


edited: 13.12.2012

Conepatus leuconotus ssp. telmalestes Bailey

Big Thicket Hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus leuconotus ssp. telmalestes)

The Big Ticket Hog-nosed Skunk is a subspecies of the widespread American Hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus leuconotus (Lichtenstein)) that apparently was restricted to a small region in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas, USA.

This subspecies, however, might in fact not be valid; another subspecies, once thought to be extinct, the Furnace Canyon Hog-nosed Skunk (Conepatus leuconotus ssp. figginisi Miller) has been merged with another subspecies that still exists, but is likewise most likely not valid at all.


Until the taxonomical situation is cleared, the species will be mentioned here for the sake of completeness. 


Photo: Joel Gilb


edited: 19.08.2022

Cicindela chlorocephala ssp. smythi E. D. Harris

Smyth‘s Tiger Beetle (Cicindela chlorocephala ssp. smythi 

Smyth‘s Tiger Beetle was originally described in 1913 as a species of its own, but is now regarded as a subspecies of the Lime-headed Tiger Beetle (Cicindela chlorocephala Chevrolat).  

The beetle reached a length of about 0,8 cm.  

Smyth‘s Tiger Beetle was restricted to Padre Island, the world’s longest barrier island, located along Texas’ southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  

The island’s sand dunes were long used for recreational purposes and much of the beetle’s habitat is now destroyed, it may be already extinct.  


Depiction from: ‘Edw. Doubleday Harris: Three New Cicindelids. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 21: 67-69. 1913′

(not in copyright)


edited: 02.10.2020

Cicurina wartoni Gertsch

Warton’s Cave Spider (Cicurina wartoni)  

Warton’s Cave Spider is a small, color- and eyeless spider that is known from only very few, female specimens, and whose sole natural habitat is a small cave, called Pickle Pit, in Travis County, Texas.  

This cave sits on private land, and the landowners have denied everyone, including researchers access to the cave, the cave entrance has furthermore been locked with a gate whose lock is now rusted and which can obviously not be opened anymore, hence the last record of the species was in the year 2001.  

A big threat to the cave spiders are introduced Red Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta (Buren)), an aggressive and highly invasive species, with which the spiders have to compete for food.  


No one knows if Warton’s Cave Spider still exists at all – however, if it does, its future very probably looks bleak.  


edited: 31.10.2017

Gambusia georgei Hubbs & Peden

San Marcos Mosquitofish (Gambusia georgei)  

The San Marcos Mosquitofish was described in 1969.  

The species was restricted to the San Marcos Spring, a large vegetated spring, and its effluent in Hays County, Texas, USA.  

The San Marcos Mosquitofish reached a length of about 4 cm, the species was live bearing, a large female could give birth to up to 60 young.  

The species disappeared due to a mix of influences, including the pollution of the water by sprayed herbicides along the San Marcos River, and the introduction of another Gambusia species, the Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis (Baird & Girard)), with which it hybridized.  

The last pure San Marcos Mosquitofish were seen in 1983.  


edited: 23.06.2020