Original description as Gila elegans:
- Baird, Spencer F. & C.F. Girard. 1853. "Descriptions of some new fishes from the River Zuni". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 6:368-369 (ffm00128)
- Gila emoryi Baird & Girard, 1853, with type locality at Near mouth of Gila River, Arizona, U.S.A. Determiner: Gilbert, 1998
Conservation: Gila elegans is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (EN) endangered (1996).