Madtom (Noturus nocturnus)
Noturus- back tail, referring to fusion of adipose and caudal fins; nocturnus
= nocturnal, referring to itís dark coloration
are widespread below the Fall Line in central and Lower Mississippi.
Distribution is from Georgia to Texas. Occurs
in habitats ranging from medium-sized creeks to large rivers.
have anal fin rays, soft pectoral rays, pelvic fin rays.
Freckled Madtoms are uniformly dark gray or yellow to dark brown with
dark freckles about the lower lip and chin. They grow to up to 78mm in their
first two years. Their life
expectancy is 4.5 years. The fish
maximum length is 150mm.
and Feeding Preferences:
become sexually mature by their second summer and spawn an average of 102 eggs
every summer. Polygamy is common in
madtoms. They initially spawn in
the New England states in June and July and by the end of the summer they have
slowly made their way down to southern states like Tennessee and Georgia.
Ecology and Behavior
Once streams are depleted, there is a large collection of madtoms in a concentrated area. This makes the competition for food detrimental. Perhaps the biggest problems are the predators that feast on the madtoms when they are sop easy to catch. They are very small and defenseless and the Darwinist principles soon take effect.
As of now the conservation of the Freckled Madtom is questionable because the laws of nature seem to have it in for this small member of the catfish family.