Blackside Dace


blacksideDace-breedingMale.jpg

 

Common Name
Blackside Dace
Category
Fish
ScientificName
Phoxinus cumberlandensis
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Osteichthyes
Order
Cypriniformes
Family
Cyprinidae
Genus
Phoxinus
Species
cumberlandensis
SubSpecies
 

 

Description
Small fish; olive or gold back with black specks; silver or red underside; single black stripe along sides when mature, two dark stripes along sides when young; pointed snout
Size
2- 3 in. (5.08 - 7.62 cm) long
Ecological Role
The blackside dace is an omnivore, feeding on algae, insects, and dead, decaying organisms. It is also a bottom feeder, taking algae from sand and rocks that lie on the stream bottom. It is thought that sand grains swallowed by the fish aid in digestion by breaking apart the walls of the algae and diatom cells. The blackside dace is prey for numerous other organisms.
Fun Facts
The blackside dace belongs to the minnow family. It is an intolerant species, which, in this case, means that the blackside dace requires cool, clean water for survival. Different species of organisms are intolerant to different things. Decline in habitat quality has reduced populations of the blackside dace to a few streams in Kentucky and six small streams in Tennessee.
Food
Algae, diatoms; aquatic insects during winter
Cover
 
Nest
 
Breeding
 
Eggs
 
Habitat
Small upland streams in forested areas with moderate flow and cool water temperature; often found in headwaters; streams with sand, sandstone, or shale on the bottom; are secretive and found along undercut banks or other cover and overhanging vegetation that provide a canopy over the stream
Kentucky Distribution
Upper Cumberland River drainage, usually above Cumberland Falls; it was found in only 16 to 18 percent of the nearly 200 Upper Cumberland streams sampled (1981, 1985) for this species
Life Cycle
 
Life Span
3 years
Life Stage
 
Reproduction
 
Seasonal Changes
The male blackside dace undergoes a slight change in appearance during the breeding season (see Spawning). The diet changes to include aquatic insects during winter months when algae and diatoms are not so plentiful.
Spawning
April - July; male has an intense black stripe along sides, bright red belly, and bright yellow fins trimmed in silver during breeding season; back may be golden in color; males develop breeding tubercles; spawning occurs over fine gravel areas without silt; have been observed spawning over silt free area of a stoneroller nest
Status
Threatened - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, listed June 12, 1987
Uses
 
Voice
 
Young
 
What We Can Do
Reduce logging near streams. Logging or cutting trees can cause the loss of canopy cover over streams. The trees' canopy provides shade which keeps streams and rivers cool.
Host
 
Diagnosis and Control
 
Interesting Facts
 
Contributed By
 
Website
http://www.biology.eku.edu/T&ESpecies/blacksidedace.html