brownish to blackish above, light beneath and sides speckled with dark scales giving is a mottled appearance, with dusky lateral band outlined by a row of light scales, mouth sub-terminal
found throughout central and northeast Iowa
aquatic insects and larvae
The blacknose dace is found throughout central and northeast Iowa, where they are common with scattered populations found in Osceola, Dickinson, and Emmet counties. They are absent from the southeastern part of the state and the Missouri River drainage. The Iowa distribution of this minnow seems to be increasing, and they appear to be flourishing in the trout streams.
The blacknose dace is brownish to black above, light beneath, and the sides are speckled with dark scales giving the fish a mottled appearance. A dusky lateral band is outlined above by a row of light scales. Spawning males develop a pink to red-colored lateral band. The sub-terminal mouth is oblique with equal jaws, and a barbel is present on the posterior tip of the mandible. The upper lip is attached to the snout without a groove (a feature known as a frenulum), which is characteristic of Rhinicthys. There are from 62 to 71 scales in the complete lateral line. Hooked pharyngeal teeth are arranged in a formula of 2, 4-4, 2. The peritoneum is silvery colored, and the air bladder is fairly well developed. Dorsal and pelvic fins contain 8 rays, while the anal fin has 7, and the pectoral fins from 13 to 16 rays.
Spawning takes place from May through July, when males build a nest of gravel and guard a well-defined territory. Eggs are l/6 to l/8 inch in diameter. Young blacknose dace range from 1 l/2 to 2 inches in length by the end of the first season. Adults reach up to 4 inches in length. Food consists largely of aquatic insects and larvae.
The blacknose dace was first listed as the western blacknose dace (Rhinichthys atratulas meleagris), which is probably the correct interpretation for this minnow in Iowa.