Re: NANFA-- tadpole madtoms looking amarous.

R. W. Wolff (
Fri, 27 Feb 2004 12:46:31 -0600

Here is what I observed in the wild with tadpole madtoms in clear ponds.
Water is gin clear, acidic and very soft. Substrate is quartz sand, muck,
and leaves.

In mid spring, when the water reaches the 60's, madtoms become very active
at night, roaming all over shallow water. Once the water is in the upper
60's to low 70's you can see females full of eggs. The color was different
on male and females, if I remember right males were much darker than the
swollen females with pink orange bellies, while males had just orange
bellies. Males found discarded drink cans in two foot of water with little
other cover around. These were laying in an area with leaves and muck over
the sandy bottom. Coincidence or by design, these spawning cans with fish in
seemed to be on south shores shaded by trees during the times of the day the
sun was most intense. Upon hatching the fry roam for a while in tight little
school, looking like pinkish gray tadpoles ( versus the jet black bullhead
young, often off the bottom ). I did not witness adult madtoms chaperoning
these schools, but they may have been nearby under leaves. Once the school
broke up, the young ( an inch long or there abouts) would be tight to shore,
or on super thick weedlines that provided tough cover. They seemed to go
just shallower in shoreline cover than young bullheads at the same stage of
development. Bullhead species were mostly blacks ( maybe browns too??) and
some yellows.

Ray W.
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