Fun Dace Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 03, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde
Dace facts tell us a lot about the marine world.

In this article, we will learn about Dace fish which are a group of freshwater species. The name 'dace' is used to identify several different species of small freshwater fishes.

They belong to the family of Cyprinidae and are related to minnows and carp fish. Owing to its large number of varied species, the Dace's distribution in the world is extensive and it can be found throughout Europe, Asia, and some parts of North America.

These fish have a streamlined silver body with dark coloration on their back and concave fins. These gregarious fish live in cool freshwaters and prey in large schools.

Their food habits include feeding on small crustaceans, worms, and even algae. They are one of the first fishes that show up when you're fishing and probably that's the reason why they are commonly used as baitfish.

Keep reading to learn more about the wonders of the Dace fish. If you enjoy reading this article, be sure to check out our Allis Shad and Teira Batfish facts too!

Dace Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Dace?

The Dace is a type of fish. It is the name given to a group of freshwater fish species that are part of the carp and minnow family. It consists of species and genera such as the Chinese mud carp, the Columbia River Dace, the Desert Dace, the Horned Dace, and Mexican Dace among many others.

What class of animal does a Dace belong to?

A Dace belongs to the class Actinopterygii and the family Cyprinidae.  

How many Daces are there in the world?

The exact population of Dace around the world is unknown. Considering that the Common Dace is listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN, it is reasonable to assume that their population trends are stable.

Where does a Dace live?

These freshwater fish can be found throughout Europe and Asia, in the Caspian Basin, the White and Barents Sea Basins, the Black Sea Basin, the Atlantic Basin, the Seine Drainage, and the Mediterranean Basin. Dace fish can also be found in large numbers in countries like Scandinavia, Romania, and certain parts of Finland.

The longnose Dace and the Moapa Dace can be found in rivers and streams of the United States of America.

What is a Dace's habitat?

This small fish inhabits freshwater habitats. They prefer cool, moving water and reside near rivers, streams, or creeks with rock bottoms or gravel. They can also be found in fast-flowing weir pools.

Who do Dace live with?

Dace fish are gregarious and live in schools. They search for prey in schools during the summer near the surface of the water.

How long does a Dace live?

Different species of dace have varying lifespans. The Common Dace has a lifespan of about 16 years, the Blackside Dace about three years, and the European Dace about seven to 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Common Dace, Leuciscus leuciscus attains sexual maturity when they are two to three years old. Their spawning sites are usually located in river tributaries.

Before spawning, the spawning tubercles of the males become rough and this differentiates them from females in appearance. Females swim towards deeper waters and lay pale yellow eggs in the excavations created in the gravel bottom by males.

Female Dace spawn only once a year and lay about 10,000 eggs in the water. The spawning period lasts for five days and the fry hatch within 20 days.

What is their conservation status?

The Dace species has a stable population. The most popular among the dace species, the common dace (Leuciscus leuciscus) has been listed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Being listed as Least Concern implies that there are no focused conservation efforts for Dace fish. However, some Dace are listed as Vulnerable, Endangered, or even Critically Endangered. There are conservation measures in place throughout their river habitat to protect these Dace.

Dace Fun Facts

What do Dace look like?

Dace are small fish with slender bodies. This freshwater fish is usually silver in color, with shades of blue or green on the back, and has a creamy white underside. They are quite bony fishes, their caudal fins are pronounced and their anal fins are concave rather than convex, differentiating them from the related chubs throughout their habitat range.

How cute are they?

The small size of the Dace can make it appear to be quite cute. Their silver body with contrasting colored tips on the fins makes them attractive to look at.

How do they communicate?

Unfortunately, not enough research has been conducted to study the patterns of communication in Leuciscus leuciscus Dace fish.

How big is a Dace?

The Dace is a small freshwater fish that lives in rivers, free-flowing streams and has a length of about 10-12 in (25.4-30.48 cm). The longest recorded Dace is about 12 in (30.48 cm) long. The Leuciscus leuciscus Dace fish is about 15 times bigger than the dwarf minnow.

How fast can a Dace swim?

There have not been enough studies conducted to calculate the speed of a Dace fish in a freshwater habitat.

How much does a Dace weigh?

The weight of Daces can range anywhere between 1.1-1.5 lb (499-680 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no unique names to identify male and female Daces.

What would you call a baby Dace?

Young Daces, like other little fish, can be known as 'fry'.

What do they eat?

The adult Dace fish diet is mostly comprised of worms, insects, snails, and small crustaceans available in the fast-flowing, cool waters. They sometimes also feed on submerged vegetation and algae. The juvenile Dace's food includes small invertebrates.

Are they dangerous?

Dace fish are pretty harmless and not known to be dangerous. Humans hunt these small fish to use as bait for catching other fish.

Would they make a good pet?

Most species of Dace would not make good pets. They have not been domesticated in large numbers by humans to be kept in captivity. The rainbow Dace is the most popular out of the Dace species to be kept as a pet.

Did you know...

The Dace fish is a freshwater fish but at times can also be found in brackish waters.

The Dace has a similar appearance to the roach. One way to differentiate between the two is to observe the color of their eyes. The Dace has yellow-colored eyes whereas the latter has red eyes.

During the spawning season, male Dace fish build shallow depressions in the rock bottoms or gravel and establish small territories to attract females.

The Dace fish breeds about two to three times in its entire lifetime and reaches sexual maturity at three years of age, but the fish still manages to reproduce at very high numbers and keep its population stable.

If you are a fan of the widely popular video game 'Animal Crossing' you would be glad to learn that the Dace fish makes an appearance in it.

What is the meaning of Dace?

Dace is the name given to these small fish that live in cool, flowing freshwaters. The Dace fish is closely related to carp and minnow fish. The word 'dace' is thought to be derived from the old French 'dars' or the English 'dart', meaning 'to move suddenly or rapidly'.

How many species does Dace have?

The exact number of Dace species is not known. However, there are a large number of known Dace species, belonging to the Cyprinidae family like the Common Dace, Desert Dace, European Dace, Japanese Dace, Mexican Dace, Relict Dace, Rifle Dace, and Shining Dace. The numbers keep getting revised as more and more species come to be known.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these great white shark facts and silver dollar fish facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Dace coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Ankit Shinde

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit Shinde picture

Ankit ShindeBachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication

Ankit is a Journalism and Mass Media graduate from the University of Mumbai. With experience in SEO, blog and article writing, and fiction writing, he is a versatile writer and content creator. In his free time, Ankit enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music.

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