NANFA-- Madtom myth put to rest

D. Martin Moore (
Tue, 1 May 2001 21:11:58 -0500

"That's what I get for ASSUMING" department:

I just wanted to share a brief observation with the list. I have on a
couple of occasions collected specimens of Noturus leptacanthus,
the speckled madtom. In all cases the fish were collected in
shallow streams (<1 foot) in association with clumps of submerged
vegetation. I had always thought that all madtoms were bottom
dwellers. NOT SO! I collected a total of six individuals from two
locations (and two distinct drainages) over a period of about a year.
This consisted of two collections of three fish each. The first
collection went into a 110 gallon tank with floating and submerged
driftwood, and plenty of caves, etc. There were no plants because
of my wife's beloved silver dollars :-P ALL of the madtoms found
niches in a large piece of FLOATING driftwood. And they were not
at all shy, especially around feeding time, when they would eat
trout pellets as soon as it hit the water.

The second collection went into an outdoor 20 gallon tank, with
submerged plants and debris, and you guessed it, a piece of
floating driftwood. Again all of them chose to make their home on
the driftwood.

So much for the bottom dweller assumption.


Jackson, MS

/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,