Iowa Fish Atlas

Pearl dace-Margariscus margarita

Native: Yes

State Rank: S1

ITIS Code: 163873         

National Rank: N5           

Global Rank: G5

Modeled By: Anna Loan-Wilsey


State Range:

The first collections of the pearl dace were found in Worth County, Iowa in 1972 (Menzel and Boyce 1973).  It is currently listed as endangered (571 IAC 77.2(1) (2004)).   With its center in the northern Great Lakes states, the native range of the pearl dace extents from Nebraska into most of Canada south of the tundra and east of the Rockies (Carlander 1969; Harlan et al. 1987).

Habitat Affinities:

The pearl dace typically inhabits cool, clear headwater streams and bog drainage systems over substrates of gravel, detritus, boulders, bedrock and clay (Becker 1983; Harlan et al. 1987) 

Predictive Model(s):

Statewide Model: (by habitat variables from literature)

The distribution is based upon existing collection records and habitat affinity.


Overall Prediction:


Literature Cited:

Becker, G.C.  1983.  Fishes of Wisconsin.  University of Wisconsin Press, Madison. 1052 pp.

Carlander, K.D.  1969.  Handbook of freshwater fishery biology. Volume One.  Iowa State University Press, Ames, Iowa.  752 pp.

Endangered and threatened plant and animal species.  2004.  Iowa Administrative Code 

571: 77.2(1).

Harlan, J.R., E.B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew.  1987.  Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa. 323pp.

Menzel, B.W., and M.S. Boyce.  1973.  First record of the pearl dace, Semotilus

margarita (COPE), from Iowa.  Iowa State Journal of Research 47(4):245-248.

Data Sources:

Menzel, B.W., and M.S. Boyce.  1973.  First record of the pearl dace, Semotilus

margarita (COPE), from Iowa.  Iowa State Journal of Research 47(4):245-248.

Additional References:

Burkhead, N.M., and R.E. Jenkins. 1991.  Fishes.  Pages 321-409 in K. Terwilliger, coordinator.  Virginia's endangered species: proceedings of a symposium.  McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, Virginia.

Cooper, E.L. 1983.  Fishes of Pennsylvania and the northeastern United States. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park.  243 pp.

Eddy, S., and J.C. Underhill.  1974.  Northern fishes; with special reference to the upper Mississippi Valley.  University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  414 pp.

Lee, D. S., C. R. Gilbert, C. H. Hocutt, R. E. Jenkins, D. E. McAllister, and J. R. Stauffer, Jr.  1980.  Atlas of North American freshwater fishes.  North Carolina State Museum of Natural History, Raleigh, North Carolina.  867 pp.

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr.  1991.  A field guide to freshwater fishes: North America north of Mexico.  Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 432 pp.

Phillips, G.L., W.D. Schmid, and J.C. Underhill.  1982.  Fishes of the Minnesota region.  University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  248 pp.

Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea, and W.B. Scott.  1991.  Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada.  American Fisheries Society, Special Publication 20, Bethesda, Maryland. 183 pp.

Roosa, D.M. 1977.  Endangered and threatened fish of Iowa.  Special Report No. 1, Iowa State Preserves Advisory Board, Des Moines. 25 pp. + append.

Scott, W.B., and E. J. Crossman.  1973.  Freshwater fishes of Canada.  Fisheries Research Board of Canada Bulletin No. 184, Ottawa, Canada.  966 pp.

Smith, C.L.  1985.  The inland fishes of New York state.  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, New York.  522 pp.

Tsai, C, and J.A. Fava.  1982.  Habitats and distribution of the pearl dace, Semotilus margarita (Cope), in the Potomac River Drainage.  Virginia Journal of Science 33(4):201-205.

Warren, M.L. Jr., B.M. Burr, S.J. Walsh, H.L. Bart Jr., R.C. Cashner, D.A. Etnier, B.J. Freeman, B.R. Kuhajda, R.L. Mayden, H.W. Robison, S.T. Ross, and W.C. Starnes.  2000.  Diversity, distribution, and conservation status of the native freshwater fishes of the southern United States.  Fisheries 25(10): 7-31.

Wells, A.W.  1981.  Possible occurrence of hybridization between Couesius plumbeus

and Semotilus margarita.  Copeia 1981(2): 487-489.

Whittier, T.R., D.B. Halliwell, and S.G. Paulsen.  1997.  Cyprinid distributions in

Northeast U.S.A. lakes: evidence of regional- scale minnow biodiversity losses.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 54(7): 1593-1607.

Photo Credits:

Upper Left:       Photo courtesy of Konrad P. Schmidt, copyright Konrad P. Schmidt.

Upper Right:     Photo courtesy of the Virtual Aquarium, The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia.