Golden skiffia

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Golden skiffia

Extinct in the Wild (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cyprinodontiformes
Family: Goodeidae
Genus: Skiffia
S. francesae
Binomial name
Skiffia francesae
Kingston, 1978

Skiffia francesae, the golden skiffia or tiro dorado,

Río Ameca in western Mexico.[3] It is extinct in the wild,[1] but has been maintained in aquaria and the aquarium hobbyist trade.[4]

Taxonomy and etymology

The scientific name of the golden skiffia is Skiffia francesae. It is a member of the family

Copeia by Dolores Kingston, from preserved and live specimens in the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. This species was named in honor of Frances H. Miller who, along with her husband Robert Rush Miller, helped to collect and ship the live specimens.[3]


The golden skiffia is a small fish, reaching a maximum

standard length (SL) of around 4.3 cm (1.7 in), with a wedge shaped head and upturned lips. It has of a row 30–35 deeply cleft outer teeth in both the upper and lower jaws. Inner teeth can be cleft or conical, and are scattered irregularly. The species shows sexual dimorphism with males having larger fins, and a greater body and head depth. Males also have a notched dorsal fin, which females lack. Males are a bright gold color with a gray overcast. The gold coloration is most vibrant during courtship, largely fading to the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins in non-courting males. Females have a greater body width, and both females and juveniles are gray-green, with scattered black flecks on their backs and along the lateral line. Females do not change color during courtship. Both sexes have a black crescent just before the tail fin.[3]

Life cycle

Golden skiffia is

ovaries are merged into a single organ, in which the young are gestated. This organ is capable of enlarging as the young develop. While in the ovary, the young possess trophotaenia. Each trophotaenia has three lobes containing blood vessels, which are believed to function in nutrient and gas exchange. Newborn young lose their trophotaenia shortly after birth.[3] The gestation period is 55–60 days, with a usual brood size of 10–15 young.[5]


Range and habitat

Golden skiffia has been declared extinct in the wild since 1996.

Xiphophorus maculatus was found. This introduced species was found to outnumber Golden skiffia by a factor of 50. Golden skiffia's numbers were dramatically reduced within a year, likely due to competition from X. maculatus.[3]

Golden skiffia is likely a

benthic feeder, as indicated by gut contents dominated by pennate diatoms.[3]


On 4 November 2022, a team of conservationists from

tequila splitfin into the Teuchitlán. To prepare the individual fish for their return, fish marked for release were first placed in ponds to adapt to semi-captive conditions. From there they were dewormed and marked, before being taken to mesocosms in the river itself to experience and adapt to natural conditions prior to release.[7]
The released fish will be monitored for five years to assess population change, reproduction, and successful growth in their natural habitat.