Northern redbelly dace
Phoxinus eos (Cope 1862)
member of the Minnow Family (Cyprinidae)
Sand Hill River, Polk County, Minnesota 10 June 1993
photos by Konrad Schmidt
In a Name?
(fox-een´-us) a Greek name for a small fish
Do They Live?
Northern redbelly dace live in all major drainages of Minnesota. They are most common in the Rainy, Lake Superior, and upper Mississippi drainages and less common in the Minnesota and lower Mississippi drainages where a sister species (southern redbelly dace) is more common. Northern redbellies inhabit small streams (fast or slow) and bog lakes over a variety of bottom types. They most often are in or near beds of emergent and floating plants. They commonly occur with creek chubs, Johnny darters, white suckers, fathead minnows, blacknose shiners, and brook sticklebacks.
Big Do They Get?
Do They Eat?
Northern redbelly dace are planktivores (eater of small plants and animals that float in the water column). They primarily eat filamentous algae and diatoms, which is unusual for a Minnesota fish species. At times they also include waterfleas and small insect larvae like midges.
Do They Reproduce?
"Cool Fact": Northern redbelly dace hybridize (mate with other species) frequently and sometimes they form all female populations
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 Gary L Phillips, 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