NANFA-L-- brindled madtom potency

Mike Austin (emasquinongy at
Mon, 26 Sep 2005 18:40:45 -0700 (PDT)

On Sunday (9/25) I was seining just above a riffle on the Little Muskingum River where I was enlightened for the first time by a madtom. I have handled madtoms many times before without incident. In this instance I was sorting through my seine when I noticed a crayfish had clamped down on a brindled...I grabbed the crayfish and tried to shake the madtom free when I took a hit in the forefinger. The pain was instant as was a small speck of blood. It was not as bad as I thought it would be but it lasted a full 30 to 40 minutes. Turned slightly red and swelled. The swelling was not obvious but I could feel the swelling when I would make a fist.

I understand there is a venom gland at the base of the pectoral spine and there is a groove in the spine as well. Is the spine and fin continuously impregnated with the venom or is there a system in place as in a pit viper the gland is contracted and venom is sent through or along the groove (I guess in a pit viper it is a hollow maybe more like a rear-fanged snake or a gila monster)

Also, this particular individual was small (just over 2 inches)...can I assume a full fledged adult would be more painful..larger gland/larger spine etc.??

I collected 22 brindled madtoms in an area that was roughly 50' X 50' addition, a small mudpuppy about 2 inches in length as well. My daughter wanted to keep mudpuppy but I was not sure how they do in captivity.

thanks Mike
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