Brindled Madtom Catfish – Profile | Description | Facts | Food

brindled madtom
(Last Updated On: April 14, 2021)

The brindled madtom, scientific name Noturus miurus is a small catfish of the household Ictaluridae that’s native to the eastern United States. This article will give an overview of brindled madtom catfish, for sale, food, description, etc.

Brindled madtom profile

Brindled madtoms reside in North America, particularly the continental United States and the decrease areas of Ontario. These fish are discovered natively in main drainages within the eastern and Midwestern United States.

Drainages embody the basins of the Nice Lakes, Illinois River, Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. These fish will be discovered from Lake Erie to Mississippi, and as far west as Kansas and Oklahoma.

Brindled madtom facts

The brindled madtom is small and reasonably chubby. It may be distinguished from different Missouri madtoms by the next:

  • The pectoral backbone has outstanding, sawlike enamel alongside the rear margin.
  • The physique and fins are profusely mottled with darkish blotches and bars.
  • The higher jaw initiatives past the decrease jaw.
  • The tooth pad on the higher jaw lacks backward extensions.
  • There isn’t a broad black bar throughout the bottom of the tail fin, however, typically there’s a slim darkish line formed like a query mark.
  • The dorsal fin has a darkish blotch close to the outer margin. The blotch extends solely throughout the primary Four fin rays.
  • The pinnacle size (from the tip of snout/mouth to again of gill cowl) goes fewer than 3.5 instances into the usual size (from the tip of snout/mouth to base of tail fin).
  • The space from the tip of the tail fin to the notch between the tail fin and adipose fin goes fewer than 2 instances into space from the notch ahead to the entrance of the dorsal fin base.

brindled madtom, Noturus miurus

Brindled madtom Description

Brindled madtoms are roughly 10.1 to 12.6 centimeters (4.0 to 5.0 in) lengthy. The brindled madtom, like different Noturus species, has a caudally-fused adipose fin which extends from the caudal fin and runs practically to the dorsal fin.

The caudal fin spreads across the caudal peduncle, terminating simply previous to the anal fin. The species has clean pores and skin without scales and possesses 4 pairs of barbels alongside the premaxilla and dentary.

The brindled madtom is laterally compressed alongside the caudal peduncle and has a dorsally compressed anterior from the pelvic fins to the jaw.

The brindled madtom is mild brown, with darkish dorsal splotches alongside the tip and two conspicuous saddle marks simply behind the dorsal fin. The dorsal fin has a darkish, noticed blotch on the tip, and is situated between the pectoral and pelvic fins.

Brindled madtoms are scaleless fishes with eight whisker-like barbels around their mouths used as sensors.

Their heads are flattened and spherical and possess a large mouth and huge eyes. Dorsal and pectoral fins have spinous rays, that are venomous. Small, saw-like notches often called serra are discovered on the anterior face of the pectoral fins.

Bigger serrae are discovered on the posterior face of the pectoral fins. The higher portion of their jaw extends barely past their decrease jaw. Brindled madtoms are usually a yellow-brown to a grey tone.

There are Three to five darkish saddles alongside the size of those fish, extending over their backs.

The lateral line and the areas between the saddles have a lightweight pigmentation. The coloration turns progressively lighter on the lateral floor.

The lightest pigmentation on their physique is discovered on their ventral floor, which is especially white. Nasal and maxillary barbels are dusky brown. The pelvic fin and pectoral fin have scattered pigmentation.

There’s a black spot alongside the anterior of the dorsal fin. The anal and adipose fins function as a collection of small blotches extending to the bottom of the fin. The caudal fin is huge, darkish, and rounded with an un-pigmented band via the middle.

The adipose fin could also be fused with the caudal fin; in any other case, they’re separated by a small notch. Mature fish are roughly 50 to 100 mm in size.


Brindled madtoms reside in freshwater streams and lakes and are categorized as heat water fish. Streams, swimming pools, and rivers with brindled madtoms are small to moderately sized with sand, mud, gravel, or massive rocks on the beds.

Additionally, they inhabit river methods of main drainages. They inhabit the benthic degree of streams and rivers; in lakes, they’re discovered at shallower depths. Their common depth of prevalence is roughly 1.35 meters (4.4 toes).

Areas with rocky or sandy beds are most popular over clay or mud. Their most popular waters are quiet, slow-flowing, and clear with average to dense vegetation and clay-like sand on the banks and beds. Vegetation and dense habitats are utilized for nesting or daytime cover.

Brindled madtom diet

Brindled madtoms forage at night time, principally close to the substrate. From time to time they reside close to particles, consuming the small organisms and larvae close to cans, bottles, and different discarded gadgets. Brindled madtoms are omnivorous, consuming crops in addition to smaller animals.

Their food plan can differ based mostly on meal availability and native assets. Like other members of the catfish household, brindled madtoms are benthic feeders, feeding off aquatic bugs, micro-crustaceans, isopods, and vegetation, in addition to different small invertebrates. Plant consumption makes up solely a small fraction of their food plan. Sensory barbels around their mouths help in trying to find meals.

Geographic distribution

The habitat varies is within the eastern United States, west of the Appalachian/Blue Ridge Mountains and from the decrease Great Lakes drainage, southwest to Louisiana.

River methods included are the Cache (Illinois), Huron, Mississippi and Ohio river basins, Pearl River, Wabash River, and Lake Pontchartrain drainage into the Gulf of Mexico.

This species is endangered in Missouri, Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Michigan and is federally listed as threatened.

brindled madtom, Noturus miurus


In line with the 1982 examination by Burr, the quantitative food plan of the brindled madtom was decided by way of dissection of abdomen contents which contained principally dipteran larvae and pupae, ephemeropteran naiads, trichopteran larvae, and grownup isopods, chironomids and simuliids had been most incessantly eaten.

Ephemeropteran larvae, together with the genera Potamanthus and Stenonema, had been second in frequency, and trichopteran larvae, primarily the genus Chematopsyche, had been third in frequency.

Amongst crustacea, Lirceus and quite a lot of copepods had been subsequent insignificance within the food plan. Worms, different microcrustaceans, different aquatic bugs, and fish and plant materials made solely small contributions to the full food plan,”.

Predation upon grownup brindled madtoms is primarily from higher trophic degree aquatic predators such because of the longnose gar. Brindled madtom egg clutches are a viable meal supply for a number of opportunistic species together with crustaceans, bugs, and different fishes.

Though most different Noturus species happen primarily in riffles, the brindled madtom happens primarily in reasonably silted swimming pools with heavy texture and gentle currents.

The brindled madtom thrives in clear, benthic areas of swimming pools in swift streams and rivers which have average siltation over a cobble or closely textured backside. The species thrives in water with constant temperatures around 25 to 27 °C (77 to 81 °F).

Temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) are usually not effectively tolerated, and mass mortalities noticed at temperatures above 33 °C (91 °F).

brindled madtom, Noturus miurus


Brindled madtoms are nocturnal; daytime is spent beneath shelter or rocks. Foraging and spawning happen at night time.

From time to time they might additionally reside in cans, bottles, or different particles. Within the early phases of their improvement, brindled madtoms typically kind colleges for cover.


Brindled madtom eggs are rough 3.0 mm in diameter and hatch roughly seven to 9 days after fertilization.

They’re born with extremely pigmented eyes and rays of their caudal fins. After two weeks of progress, they’re roughly 14 mm in size and nearly all of the yolk sac has been absorbed. Caudal pigmentation and darkish blotches come up at two weeks post-fertilization.

Within the first two months of improvement, fish develop to half of their mature measurement. By 13 to 18 months, female and male lengths begin to deviate. Generally, men and women are mature by two years of age.

Females can attain maturity as early as one yr of age and are born with all of their mature eggs. In common, males are typically bigger in measurement than females.

Life cycle

In southeast Missouri, this madtom spawns throughout the late spring and summer season.

Females filled with eggs and females that had just lately spawned have been collected there in late Might. In close by Illinois, males guarding nests of eggs had been noticed in late June.

Nests are excavated beneath flat rocks in swimming pools, however, brindled madtoms have recognized to nest in beer cans.

Females develop into sexually mature their second summer season of life, whereas males mature in their third summer season. Few, if any, survive a fourth summer season.

Brindled madtom reproduction

Males in the breeding situations have an altered bodily look; they’ve thick muscle tissue on the highest of their head, protruding lips, and bigger genital papillae. Breeding males are drabber than non-breeding males.

Breeding females additionally purchase enlarged genital papillae. Mating happens in pairs, however, females are recognized to breed with multiple associates throughout the spawning season. Not a lot is understood about how mate choice happens.

brindled madtom

Particular person brindled madtoms spawn as soon as of their lifetime and have an average clutch measurement.

Spawning happens within the spring and summer season months in hotter water temperatures.

Spawning between men and women happens within the night and early morning when mild is minimal.

Following fertilization, nests are shaped in despair that males guard. Brindled madtoms are capable of secreting a short-lived adhesive upon fertilization, which permits eggs to be caught beneath rocks or different vegetation.

Mating {couples} are collectively within the nesting space and fertilize the eggs there. Not a lot is understood about their precise spawning course.

Upon completion of fertilization, mated pairs of brindled madtoms guard the nest that comprises their younger.

These areas are beneath rocks or in depressions with some protection. The vast majority of the guarding is completed by the male who fertilized the eggs.

Male guardianship terminates shortly after the eggs hatch. Through the brief interval after hatching, males give provisional care and supervise their younger.


Not a lot is understood concerning the communication or notion of brindled madtoms. Nevertheless, different catfish species are recognized to own exterior style buds, notably on their barbels. As backside feeders, these fish use their barbels to assist them to forage.

Brindled madtom Lifespan

Within the wild, brindled madtoms reside roughly three years on common. They’re alive lengthy sufficient to achieve maturity, reproduce, and handle their younger. Males reside longer in common than females.

Life history

It takes one yr for females and two years for males to mature sexually and nesting/copy extends from Might to July, with regional variance in keeping with water temperature.

When copy begins, the mating pair guards their clutch of 50-100 eggs, which is normally deposited in a protecting shelter with a really small opening corresponding to beneath rocks or in bottles/cans that litter the waterways; and these shelters are layered with mud or silt by the dad and mom.

The brindled madtom can produce a number of clutches per yr and the typical lifespan of the species is about three years, with most specimens being discovered within the 2 yr previous vary.

The selective nature of this species because it pertains to copy habitat places the reproductive health of the species as complete, in jeopardy.

Since this species prefers a substrate that has an equal stone, cobble, sediment, and texture which gives shelter and most popular nesting alternatives, even the slightest disturbance can drastically alter and warp the stability wanted for health.

The lower in most popular habitat has contributed to the decline of assorted species of madtoms, resulting in inter-species breeding, particularly between the brindled madtom and the tadpole madtom, which can result in additional chromosomal evolution inside this species as recognized by LeGrand’s examine.


Brindled madtoms are prey for bigger fish of their space together with longnose gars. The venomous spikes on their pectoral spines help in avoiding predators. Brindled madtom eggs are additionally focused as a meal supply for predators.

Brindled madtom Conservation Standing

Brindled madtoms are usually not endangered to a nationwide degree and there are at the moment no nationwide conservation efforts in place for the species.

The IUCN lists the species as “Least Concern”. Nevertheless, the state of Michigan lists the species as “particular concern”.

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