DACE, DARE, or Dart (Leuciscus vulgaris, or L. dobula), a freshwater fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae. It is an inhabitant of the rivers and streams of Europe north of the Alps, but it is most abundant in those of France and Germany. It prefers clear streams flowing over a gravelly bottom, and deep, still water, keeping close to the bottom in winter but disporting itself near the surface in the sunshine of summer. It is preyed upon by the larger predaceous fishes of fresh waters, and owing to its silvery appearance is a favourite bait in pikefishing. The dace is a lively, active fish, of gregarious habits, and exceedingly prolific, depositing its eggs in May and June at the roots of aquatic plants or in the gravelly beds of the streams it frequents. Its flesh is wholesome, but is not held in much estimation. In appearance it closely resembles the roach, usually attaining a length of 8 or 9 in., with the head and back of a dusky blue colour and the sides of a shining silvery aspect, with numerous dark lines running along the course of the scales. The ventral and anal fins are white, tinged with pale red; and the dorsal, pectoral and caudal tipped with black. The dace feeds on worms, insects, insect-larvae, and also on vegetable matter. It is abundant in many of the streams of the south of England, but is unknown in Scotland and Ireland. In America the name of dace is also applied to members of other genera of the family; the "horned dace" (Semnotilus atromaculatus) is a well-known variety.
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