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Fragile Legacy


Endangered, Threatened & Rare Animals of South Dakota


Finescale Dace (Phoxinus neogaeus)


JPG--species photo species distribution map
Status: State Endangered

Description: The finescale dace is a small (2.5 inches, 55-65 mm) fish with a dark brown back. A dark stripe extends from the snout along the side, ending at a distinct spot at the base of the tail. Breeding males have a bright yellow to red underside.

Habitat and Habits: This species may occur in bog ponds, streams and lakes. It is commonly found in association with the northern redbelly dace, with which it may hybridize. The finescale dace spawns from April to June under logs and debris, with eggs hatching in 4 days. It feeds on insects, crustaceans and plankton.

Distribution: This species is widely distributed in glaciated regions of southern Canada and northern United States. Isolated populations occur in South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming. The finescale dace has been documented in Brule, Charles Mix, Fall River, Gregory and Lawrence Counties in South Dakota.

Conservation Measures: Suitable cool spring-fed stream habitat where the finescale dace occurs is rare in South Dakota.


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