NANFA-L-- mudpuppies in captivity

Brian J. Torreano (headdarter at
Tue, 27 Sep 2005 05:00:28 -0500 (CDT)

Dear Mike Austin,
Mudpuppies do fine in captivity. I have kept adults for years in
room-temperature water with a steady diet of earthworms.


Brian J. Torreano - Owner
Your on-line resource for American Darters and other native fish for the
small to medium-sized aquarium!
Phone: (262) 268-7489

---- Original message ----

Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 18:40:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: Mike Austin <emasquinongy at>
Subject: NANFA-L-- brindled madtom potency

On Sunday (9/25) I was seining just above a riffle on the Little Muskingum
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

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
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'
a small mudpuppy about 2 inches in length as well. My daughter wanted to
mudpuppy but I was not sure how they do in captivity.

thanks Mike
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