The Common Dace (Leuciscus leuciscus), also known as the Dare or the Dart, is a freshwater or brackish fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae. It is an inhabitant of the rivers and streams of Europe north of the Alps as well as in Asia, but it is most abundant in those of France and Germany, as well as having spread to Ireland where it is used as a bait fish. It will grow to a maximum length of 15¾ inches (40 centimeters), a maximum weight of 2.2 lb (1 kg), and may live for up to 16 years.
The Common Dace natively lives in a temperate climate and prefers water with a 6.0 to 8.0 pH and an ideal temperature range of 39 to 72 °F (4 to 22 °C). It prefers clear streams flowing over a gravelly bottom, and deep, still water, keeping close to the bottom in winter but disporting itself near the surface, in the sunshine of summer. It is preyed upon by the larger predaceous fishes of fresh waters, and owing to its silvery appearance is a favorite bait in pike angling. Its flesh is wholesome and is sometimes caught for food, but is not held in much estimation. While typically a freshwater fish, the Dace enters brackish waters in the eastern Baltic Sea.
The Dace is a lively, active fish, of gregarious habits, and exceedingly prolific, depositing its pale yellow eggs in the spring at the roots of aquatic plants or in the gravelly beds of the shallow, flowing streams it frequents. It poses a risk as a potential pest in some areas. In appearance it closely resembles the Roach in both size and shape, with the head and back of a dusky blue color and the sides of a shining silvery aspect, with numerous dark lines running along the course of the scales. The ventral and anal fins are white, tinged with pale red,; and the dorsal, pectoral and caudal tipped with black. The dace feeds on worms, insects, insect-larvae, snails, and also rarely on vegetable matter.
In the United States, the name of dace is also applied to members of other genera of the family; the horned dace (Semnotilus atromaculatus) is a well-known species.
* List of freshwater aquarium fish species