Gila crassicauda


Kingdom Animalia

Thicktail Chub photograph. Public domain (CDFG 2007).

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Cypriniformes
Family Cyprinidae
Genus Gila
Species Gila crassicauda
Authority (Baird & Girard, 1854)
English Name Thicktail Chub
Dutch Name Dikstaartkopvoorn

The Thicktail Chub derives its name from the thickened area (caudal peduncle) in front of the tail fin. This stocky fish has large scales and a V-shaped head. Colour ranges from greenish brown to purplish black on the back, to yellowish on the sides and belly. It grows to a length of about 30,5 cm (12 in). (CDFG 2007)


It was probably carnivorous, feeding on fish and large aquatic invertebrates (CDFG 2007)

Range & Habitat

The Thicktail Chub once occurred in California, United States of America. This fish species was found throughout the lowland areas of the Great Central Valley, in streams flowing into San Francisco Bay, and in the Clear Lake system (CDFG 2007).

Image: a map of the United States with the previous range (in red) of the Thinktail Chub. This image is created for The Extinction Website by Peter Maas and it is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

History & Population At one time the Thicktail Chub must have been plentiful, for it was the third most common fish species found in the middens of Indian settlements in the Central Valley. It was also sold in the San Francisco fish market around the turn of the century. It disappeared from Clear Lake around 1940 and the last specimen to have been collected in California was in 1957 near Rio Vista. (CDFG 2007)
Extinction Causes The draining and filling of lowland marshes, agricultural development, water diversion and the introduction of non-native species of fish have probably all contributed to the Thicktail Chub's demise (CDFG 2007).
Museum Specimens Specimens of this unique species now exist only in museum bottles (CDFG 2007). Do you know any museum specimens? Please contact this website.
Relatives Gila is a genus of fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae, native to North America and Central America. Species of Gila are collectively referred to as western chubs. Several members of the genus are endangered or extinct due to loss of habitat causing by diversion or overuse of water resources, particularly in the western United States. One other western chub has become extinct, the Independence Valley Tui Chub (Gila bicolor isolata). (Wikipedia contributors 2008)

Thicktail chub - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Gila crassicauda



(Complete website)

CDFG (2007). Endangered wildlife of California. California. Dept. of Fish and Game. Sacramento : The Dept. In: Internet Archive, scanned and placed online 24-4-2007 at:

Wikipedia contributors (2008), "Gila (genus)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed April 16, 2008).

World Conservation Monitoring Centre 1996. Gila crassicauda. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <>. Downloaded on 23 March 2008.

Last updated: 19th April 2008.

This page is a part of The Extinction Website. 2000-2009.