Clinostomus elongatus
Redside dace
Image of Clinostomus elongatus

Photo by Konrad P. Schmidt 

Key Characteristics

The redside dace is a small minnow with a distinct white-yellow band extending from the snout to the tail that separates the dark back of the fish from a distinct red band on the lower side of the fish. It has a large pointed snout, large oblique mouth, and forked caudal fin. The body has small scales and is laterally compressed with a complete, slightly decurved lateral line.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: E
  • State Rank: S2
  • Global Rank: G3G4


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Clinostomus elongatus

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Redside dace occur in small streams with moderate to high gradients, adequate overhanging vegetation to provide ample shading of the stream, abundant coarse woody structure, and clean rocky substrates. Redside dace use clean rocky riffles for spawning and pools during non-breeding season.

Specific Habitat Needs

Gravel and sand substrates needed in Headwater Stream (1st-2nd order), Riffle Gravel or sandy substrates needed in Headwater Stream (1st-2nd order), Run Overhanging vegetation needed in Headwater Stream (1st-2nd order), Pool Rocky, gravelly, or sandy needed in Headwater Stream (1st-2nd order), Pool

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.


Strict habitat requirements for the redside dace make it highly susceptible to local extinctions. Riparian vegetation is a key microhabitat element for this species. Changes in the sunlight, temperature, and oxygen regimes of these small streams as a result of land cover changes are detrimental to this species. Hence, maintaining or establishing vegetated riparian buffers and natural flow regimes are important for protecting the redside dace.

Active Period

Spawning from third week of May to fourth week of May

Survey Methods

Sampling effort should be focused in and around overhanging vegetation, in-stream vegetation, and pools.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at [Accessed Sep 25, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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