The black madtom has a rather plump body. The anal
fin is long and has 21 to 27 rays, reaching the caudal
fin. The caudal fin is usually straight or barely
rounded. Like other madtoms, black madtoms possess
many chemically sensitive sensory pores and barbels.
Habitat: Black madtoms prefer permanent
springs and creeks or rivers with a moderate or fast
flow. They prefer a habitat with a small gravel or
coarse sand bed, and prefer the cover of vegetation.
Reproduction: It is presumed that
eggs are laid under rocks. Colouration:
It is a black or dark black blue on the top half and
lighter on the lower half. They have many tiny dots
across their body, most obvious under the head and
belly. Aquarium Care: 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 housed with other North American fishes
such as minnows, darters and shiners. Diet:
The black madtom is believed to have a similar diet
to those of other madtoms, consisting of decapods
and the larvae of flies, mayflies, and caddisflies.
Plant material makes up a greater percent of the diet
in summer. In the aquarium 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. Remarks:
In the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2012.
Noturus funebris is listed as Least Concern.
Listed as Least Concern in view of the large extent
of occurrence, large number of subpopulations, large
population size, and lack of major threats. Trend
over the past 10 years or three generations is uncertain
but likely relatively stable, or the species may be
declining but not fast enough to qualify for any of
the threatened categories under Criterion A (reduction
in population size).
Gulf Slope drainages from Enconfina Creek in Florida,
USA to Pearl River in Mississippi and Louisiana, USA.
Florida Museum of Natural
Froese, R. and D. Pauly.
Editors. 2022. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic
publication. www.fishbase.org, ( 02/2022 ) GBIF.org
Micah G. Bennett & Bernard
R. Kuhajda (2008)
Life History Aspects of the Black Madtom, Noturus
funebris (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae), in the Cahaba
River Drainage, Central Alabama, USA, Journal of Freshwater
Ecology. NatureServe. 2013. Noturus funebris.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013. Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A
field guide to freshwater fishes of North America
north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.