The speckled dace, Rhinichthys osculus, is a small minnow native to the western United States, as well as to parts of southwestern Canada and northern Mexico. In Utah, the species is quite common, occurring in many of the state's major streams and in numerous desert springs. The speckled dace has adapted to many different types of habitat, ranging from cold swift-flowing mountain headwaters to warm intermittent desert streams and springs.
Speckled dace are benthic feeders (they feed on the bottom), eating primarily insect larvae and other invertebrates, although algae and fish eggs are also consumed. The species spawns during the spring and summer over gravel areas that have been cleaned by territorial males. The speckled dace is a schooling species that is most active at night. In many parts of their range, speckled dace are important forage fish for sport fish species.