Laurel Dace

Laurel Dace

Chrosomus saylori

About This Animal

SIZE: Up to 3 inches

RANGE: Limited Range.The Laurel Dace is restricted to streams draining Walden Ridge, upper Tennessee River drainage, east Tennessee.

HABITAT: Inhabits small rocky streams with clear, cool water. Laurel Dace are most frequently collected from pools under overhanging vegetation, from undercut banks, and beneath slab rocks.

DIET: Aquatic invertebrate larvae that live on the bottom of the stream, including mayfly, stonefly, and caddisfly larvae

LIFESPAN: 3+ years


About this animal: The Laurel Dace is named after the Mountain Laurel shrub that is typically found along the streams where this minnow is found on the Cumberland Plateau. This species was described in 2001 and listed as endangered in 2011.

Threats: Small population, limited range, habitat loss

Our Impact: TNACI is working on status surveys and understanding the genetics of the Laurel Dace as well as working with USFWS on a Recovery Plan for the species.

In May 2018, more than 450 larval Laurel Dace spawned from about two dozen adults housed at the conservation institute's freshwater science center. By working with these baby fish, scientists will learn how to care for and breed this endangered species, an important step in safeguarding it from future calamities and the possibility of extinction. 

Conservation Status: Federally Endangered and therefore protected under the Endangered Species Act.