Phoxinus neogaeus Cope, 1869
member of the Minnow Family (Cyprinidae)
Colonial (Valley) Creek, Dakota County, Minnesota 4 April 1998
In a Name?
(fox-ee´-nus) comes from a Greek name for a fish
Do They Live?
This shy fish lives in small boggy ponds and slow-moving creeks in much of the northern half of Minnesota. They are especially fond of beaver ponds, where you can find them hiding among the brush and sunken logs. Most likely you will find these beautiful little minnows living with northern redbelly dace, fathead minnows, central mudminnows, and brook sticklebacks.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Finescale dace mostly eat small invertebrates, like aquatic insects and fingernail clams, but they also eat some algae. Young finescales eat tiny waterfleas, copepods and very small aquatic insects.
Humans do not eat finescale dace, but they do use them as a bait minnow!
Do They Reproduce?
Large schools of bright red and yellow males and more modest females gather around dinner plate sized depressions under submerged logs and brush. When two adults are ready to spawn, they dart into the depression. The female lays 20-30 eggs while a single male fertilizes them. The eggs sink to the bottom and receive no care from either parent. The whole things takes 15-30 seconds.
Females spawn repeatedly over several days and may lay 500-3000 eggs depending on how big and how healthy they are.
Permission is granted for the non-commercial educational or scientific use of the text and images on this Web document. Please credit the author or authors listed below.
Photographs by Konrad P. Schmidt
Text by Nicole Paulson & Jay T. Hatch in cooperation with
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' MinnAqua Aquatic Program
This page developed with funds from the
MinnAqua Program (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fisheries)
Sport Fish Restoration Program (Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of the Interior)
Maintained by Jay T. Hatch
General College and James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Last updated 23 October 2002