Southern Redbelly Dace
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout of a breeding male.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin of a breeding male.
  • Close-up anal fin of a breeding male.
  • Close-up pectoral fin of a breeding male.
  • Close-up pelvic fin of a breeding male.
  • View of intestine: Notice the long coiled intestine and the black peritoneum.
  • The sides show two lateral stripes and 67-90 lateral line scales.
  • Close-up flank: There are two lateral stripes and 67-90 lateral line scales.
  • Close-up mouth: The mouth is small, moderately oblique, and straight. The tip of the upper jaw is slightly ahead of the lower jaw.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Breeding males have a red ventral area, yellow fins, and a yellow stripe between two dark stripes.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Breeding males have a red ventral area, yellow fins, and a yellow stripe between two dark stripes.
  • Top view head of a breeding male: Notice the tubercles.
  • Close-up anterior region of a breeding male: Breeding males have a red ventral area, yellow fins, and a yellow stripe between two dark stripes.
  • Side view of a pregnant female with relatively subdued colors compared with a male, and a highly distended belly.
  • Side view of a pregnant female with relatively subdued colors compared with a male, and a highly distended belly.
  • Side view of a Common shiner X southern redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the intermediate number of slightly elevated lateral line scales and the lack of stripes (breeding male).
  • Side view of a redside dace X s. redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the relatively large mouth and large size (redside dace) and the two black lateral stripes (s. redbelly dace).
  • Side view of a southern redbelly dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the medium-sized mouth (intermediate characteristic), the small lateral line scales (s. redbelly dace), and the single lateral stripe (creek chub).
  • Close-up flank of a southern redbelly dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the lack of the dorsal fin spot and the small lateral line scales (s. redbelly dace), and the single lateral stripe (creek chub).
  • Close-up head of a southern redbelly dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the medium-sized mouth (intermediate characteristic).
  • View of intestine of a southern redbelly dace X creek chub hybrid: Notice the black peritoneum (s. redbelly dace) and the moderate-length digestive tract (intermediate characteristic).
  • Side view of a redside dace X southern redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the intermediate appearance between the two species regarding size, two stripes, and mouth.
  • Side views of southern redbelly dace (top), common shiner (bottom), and their hybrid (middle): Notice the intermediate characteristics of the hybrid.
  • Close-up anal fin of a common shiner X southern redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the 8 anal rays, a southern redbelly dace characteristic.
  • Close-up flank of a common shiner X southern redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the intermediate size and elevation of the lateral line scales and the lack of stripes (common shiner characteristics).
  • Close-up head of a common shiner X southern redbelly dace hybrid: Notice the stripe anterior to eye (s. redbelly dace characteristic) and the mouth extending to theeye (common shiner characteristic).
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and Snout: Terminal to suberterminal, with an upper jaw that is very slightly ahead of the lower jaw. The mouth is relatively small, just barely reaching the front of the eye. No teeth. No barbels. Body Pattern: Dark brown or olive back grading to lighter olive, silver or tan on sides with two black or dark brown stripes. The stripe along the midline is thicker and more conspicuous. The stripe halfway between the lateral line and the top of fish is usually less pigmented and less obvious, and it turns into a series of spots beyond the dorsal fin. Cream, white or yellow on belly. Body Shape: Fusiform and elongate, almost round in cross-section. Typical adult size is 50-75 mm TL (2-3 in), with a maximum of about 88 mm (3.5 in).
Fins
Forked tail. A single relatively short dorsal fin with 8 rays and without spines. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin. Anal fin with 8 rays and no spines.
Distinguishing Characteristics
The tiny scales and two stripes along the side of the body distinguish this species. Mouth is small, moderately oblique and terminal to subterminal. Long digestive tract. Two dark lateral stripes. 67-90 cycloid lateral line scales. See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males are bright red or occasionally yellow below lateral stripes, on lower head, and at the base of the dorsal fin. Fins yellow and a yellow stripe between the two dark lateral stripes. Fine tubercles on head, body, and all fins except tail. Female are much less intense red or yellow on lower body and have a few small tubercles on head.
Juveniles
Similar, but with less color.
Hybrids
Southern redbelly dace X redside dace; southern redbelly dace X common shiner; southern redbelly dace X creek chub; southern redbelly dace X central stoneroller; southern redbelly dace X rosyface dace.
Compare Similar Species
Body Pattern
Dace, FinescaleVery dark back (similar to lateral stripe in intensity) and single very dark mid-lateral stripe
Dace, Redbelly NorthernModerately dark back (lighter than lateral stripes) and two very dark lateral stripes, with mid-lateral stripe better developed than the stripe above it
Dace, Southern RedbellyModerately dark back (lighter than lateral stripes) and two very dark lateral stripes, with the mid-lateral stripe better developed than the stripe above it
Mouth
Dace, FinescaleShort and S-shaped, about 60-80% of total length
Dace, Redbelly NorthernTerminal to slightly superior, small, strongly oblique, and curved, reaching back to nostrils but not beyond front of eye, forming about a 50 degree angle with the horizontal, and with the tip of the lower jaw slightly ahead of the upper jaw
Dace, Southern RedbellyTerminal to slightly subterminal, small, moderately oblique, and straight, reaching back to nostrils but not beyond front of eye, forming about a 36 degree angle with the horizontal, and with the tip of the upper jaw slightly ahead of the lower jaw
Digestive Tract
Dace, FinescaleShort and S-shaped, about 60-80% of total length
Dace, Redbelly NorthernLong with two coils, about 110-160% of total length
Dace, Southern RedbellyLong with two coils, about 160-170% of total length
Similarity Index
Dace, FinescaleVery similar
Dace, Redbelly NorthernVery similar
Dace, Southern RedbellyN/A
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