Finescale 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.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • The Intestine is relatively short and peritoneum is mottled black.
  • Notice the dark back, the single lateral stripe, and the medium sized mouth; there are 72-89 lateral line scales.
  • Close-up mouth: The mouth is terminal and medium-sized, reaching to the front of the eye.
  • Close-up flank: Notice the relatively dark back and the lateral stripe with a lighter area in between.
  • Side view of a breeding male: Notice the red color below the lateral stripe and the upcurved pectoral fins.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adults.
  • Alternative side view of two adults.
  • Side view of a northern redbelly dace X finescale dace hybrid: Notice the hint of second lateral stripe above the mid-lateral stripe (intermediate characteristic).
  • Side view of two northern redbelly dace X finescale dace hybrids: Notice the hint of second lateral stripe above the mid-lateral stripe (intermediate characteristic).
  • Close-up flank of a northern redbelly dace X finescale dace hybrid: Notice the hint of second lateral stripe above the mid-lateral stripe (intermediate characteristic).
  • Close-up mouth of a northern redbelly dace X finescale dace hybrid: Notice the medium-sized mouth, a finescale dace characteristic.
  • View of intestine of a northern redbelly dace X finescale dace hybrid: Notice the medium-length intestine (intermediate characteristic) and the mottled black peritoneum.
  • Comparison of finescale dace (top), northern redbelly dace (bottom) and their hybrid (middle). Notice the intermediate appearance of the hybrid.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Minnows (Cyprinidae)
Body
Mouth and Snout: Terminal, moderate in size. Mouth may reach to the middle of the eye. No teeth. No barbels. Body Pattern: Dark brown or black on back, changing abruptly to light olive on upper sides and conspicuous dark lateral stripe below. Sometimes a dark spot at the base of tail. Belly silvery white or yellowish. Fins without distinctive markings. Body Shape: Fusiform and robust, round in cross-section. Typical adult size is 65-100 mm TL (2.5-4 in), with a maximum of about 125 mm (6 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 one stripe along the side of the body distinguish this species. Moderately sized terminal mouth. No barbels. Single dark lateral stripe. 72-89 lateral line scales. Short digestive tract (much less than TL). See also similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Males have sides below lateral stripe yellow, orange or red, especially just behind the opercle. Anterior ray of pectoral fins thickened, causing them to curve upwards.
Juveniles
Similar to adults, but with less color.
Hybrids
Finscale dace X Northern redbelly dace.
Compare Similar Species
Mouth
Chub, CreekTerminal; large, extends almost to middle of eye
Chub, HornyheadSlightly subterminal; moderate size, extends to anterior of eye
Chub, LakeSlightly subterminal; small, barely extends to front of eye
Dace, FinescaleTerminal; moderate size, extends to anterior of eye
Dace, PearlTerminal; small barely extends to front of eye
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° angle with the horizontal, tip of the lower jaw slightly ahead of the upper jaw
Dace, RedsideSlightly superior; very large, extends to middle or back of eye
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° angle with the horizontal, tip of the upper jaw slightly ahead of the lower jaw
Barbels
Chub, CreekSometimes present in groove between lip and upper jaw
Chub, HornyheadAlways present in corner of mouth
Chub, LakeAlways present in corner of mouth
Dace, FinescaleNone
Dace, PearlSometimes present in groove between lip and upper jaw
Dace, Redbelly NorthernNone
Dace, RedsideNone
Dace, Southern RedbellyNone
Body Pattern
Chub, CreekVariable; solid color, mottled, or with dark lateral stripe. Dark spot at anterior base of dorsal fin (absent or faint in young)
Chub, HornyheadDark lateral stripe ending in dark spot at base of tail; stripe and spot faint or absent in large adults
Chub, LakeDark with faint mottling and sometimes a diffuse lateral stripe posterior to dorsal fin
Dace, FinescaleDark back, lighter on upper flank, and then dark lateral stripe
Dace, PearlDark gray, olive, or brown with fine mottling; often a diffuse dark lateral stripe present, but faint or absent in some adults
Dace, Redbelly NorthernModerately dark back (lighter than lateral stripe) and two very dark lateral stripe with the mid-lateral stripe better developed than the stripe above it
Dace, RedsideWhite or yellow lateral stripe on upper flanks, below this is a broad lateral stripe that is orange or red anteriorly and black beyond dorsal fin
Dace, Southern RedbellyModerately dark back (lighter than lateral stripe) and two very dark lateral stripe with the mid-lateral stripe better developed than the stripe above it
Lateral Line Scales
Chub, Creek49-66
Chub, Hornyhead38-48
Chub, Lake60-67
Dace, Finescale72-89
Dace, Pearl62-75
Dace, Redbelly Northern77-81
Dace, Redside62-75
Dace, Southern Redbelly67-90
Similarity Index
Chub, CreekModerately similar
Chub, HornyheadModerately similar
Chub, LakeModerately similar
Dace, FinescaleN/A
Dace, PearlModerately similar
Dace, Redbelly NorthernVery similar
Dace, RedsideModerately similar
Dace, Southern RedbellyVery similar
Login