Fisheries and Land Resources

Pearl Dace

Margariscus margarita


Occur throughout most of Canada, and in Labrador.


Cool, clear, headwater streams, ponds, lakes and bogs


Diet consists primarily of aquatic insects.


This minnow is dark olive to gray, with many small, black and brown specks on silver sides; white, yellow or red below; nearly cylindrical body with a rounded snout; grow to about six inches long.

Breeding Biology

Pearl Dace spawn in spring when water temperatures are between 17.2oC and 18.3oC. Males maintain territories about eight inches wide. Spawning occurs in 18 to 24-inch deep water, on sand or gravel. Males will drive away rival males, but will escort ripe females into their territory.

A male will use his pectoral and caudal fins to grasp the female. Spawning occurs when both bodies begin to vibrate. Each female will repeat the act many times with different males, and thus only produces a few eggs with each spawning act. Up to 1,600 eggs have been found in one female.


Last Updated:
This page and all contents are copyright, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, all rights reserved.