ts been a few years since we have covered this North
American genera (Noturus
Dec. 2014) so 30 factsheets later we have returned
to the "Brindled Madtom" Noturus miurus.
for our June factsheet of 2017. Similar looking
species are the "Checkered madtom", Noturus
flavater and the "Yellowfin Madtom"
miurus inhabits riffles, pools below riffles
and runs over gravel and sand mixed with sticks and
leaves in creeks and small rivers. Also found in lakes.
In its natural habitat it feeds on dipteran larvae
(midges and blackflies), mayflies (Potamanthus and
Stenonema), and hydropsychid caddisflies (Cheumatopsyche).
It inhabits mainstream
rivers of small to medium size and the lower reaches
of their major tributaries. Most commonly associated
with moderate velocities, moderate depth (about 60
cm), clean sand or clay substrata and cover in the
form of leaf packs, brush and log jams. This species
is most active at night.
As of November 1998 in the U.K.you must have a licence
to keep the above species. This licence is now issued
free, but does take a few months to process. There
has been numerous updates since 1998 so would be better
to check this out. For more information log on to
site and also to get a phone
number if needed.
Great Lakes drainages in Ontario, Canada and New York,
USA southwest through most of Ohio River basin and
lower Mississippi River basin (west to east Kansas
and Oklahoma); Mohawk River in New York; Pearl River
and Lake Pontchartrain drainages in Mississippi and
Louisiana, USA. Type locality: Maumee
River basin, lower Wabash River basin and White River
near Indianapolis, Indiana [restricted to White River
near Indianapolis, by lectotype designation].
Heaviest just anterior to dorsal
spine. Eye large, upper jaw overhangs lower; 4 pairs
barbels. Pectoral spine strongly serrate, poisonous.
Adipose fin low, continuous with caudal, with shallow
notch posteriorly. Caudal fin rounded.
Back dark yellow/brown with
three saddles; yellowish below, sides mottled. Dorsal
fin with black blotch on edge of first 4 rays; anal
fin with blotch near edge of posterior rays. Dusky
bands at end of caudal peduncle and near margin
of caudal fin.
Care & Compatibility
The Madtoms are well suited
to aquarium life. Provide river gravel and smooth
rounded stones for hiding places during the day. A
power filter at one end of the tank will provide the
conditions of a flowing stream for these catfish.
Can be kept with other stream- dwelling species such
as shiners, minnows and darters.
As far as I am aware, no madtoms
have been bred in the U. K. due to the unavailability
of coolwater catfishes, but some successes have been
recorded in the U.S. and Canada. Spawning's can takes
place in Spring or Summer with higher temperatures to
trigger the spawning. They exhibit parental care, with
the male or both sexes guarding the clutch.
The life expectancy is
three to four years and they will be sexually mature
in two years. Ripe
females of N. nocturnus have been collected
in late May in Arkansas. Nests have been found in beer
cans in shallow riffles with reduced flow at a water
temperature of 77°F
(25°C) Clutches range from 47-154 eggs. Nests are
guarded by a single male and they hatch within 139-161
hours at the temperature mentioned above. See
ScotCat article on the breeding of Noturus
Not recorded but usually the
females are more rotund.
They like most meaty food,
such as cut-up earth worms, frozen blood worm and
prawns. They will also take tablet and pellet foods.
A varied diet will keep them in optimum health.
fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays,
behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Anal fin: The median, unpaired, ventrally located
fin that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior
half of the fish. Barbels:
on the heads of most catfish.
Caudal peduncle: The narrow part of a fish's
body to which the caudal or tail fin is attached. Dorsal
primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body.
paired fins just behind the head.
Meaning "Back Tail" referring to the fusion
of the adipose and caudal fins. miurus: meaning
curtailed, probably referring to the short appearance
of this fish.
C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent
and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue
of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2016. FishBase.
World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org,
( 06/2016 ).
Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A field guide
to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico.
Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p. The Audubon Society Field guide to
North American Fishes, Whales & Dolphins. Alfred
A. Knopf, New York. 848 p.