SCIENTIFIC NAME: Noturus miurus
CHARACTERISTICS: This small, robust madtom is mottled and has four dark saddles across the back. The anal fin is rounded and contains 13 to 17 rays. The rounded caudal fin has a single black band near its posterior margin. The posterior edge of each pectoral spine has five to eight prominent, recurved teeth, and the anterior edge is conspicuously serrated. Body color is light to medium yellowish brown with dusky mottling. A black blotch occurs on the distal one-third of the dorsal fin, and a black band extends to the edge of the adipose fin. See Jordan (1877a) for original description.
ADULT SIZE: 2.4 to 3.5 in (64 to 89 mm)
DISTRIBUTION: The known range in Alabama is limited to the Bear Creek system, a tributary of the Tennessee River in northwest Alabama. We collected the species only twice in 1993. There needs to be additional sampling in the Bear Creek system to assess the impact, if any, of recent strip mining and reservoir construction on the status of this marginally occurring species.
HABITAT AND BIOLOGY: The brindled madtom prefers low-gradient streams and rivers. It inhabits back water areas and pools below riffles having a slow current over sand and gravel substrates topped with silt.Many of the individuals we collected occurred along stream margins and around accumulations of leaf litter. Judging from observations recorded for other states, we believe spawning occurs in May and June in Alabama and southern Tennessee. Etnier and Starnes (1993) note that individuals sometimes use soda or beer bottles and the undersides of rocks or pieces of wood as spawning receptacles. The diet of this species in Illinois includes aquatic insect larvae and isopods (Burr and Mayden, 1982b). Life span is estimated to be three years.
ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION: The brindled madtom was described by Jordan in 1877.
Noturus means back tail, referring to fusion of the adipose and caudal fins.
Miurus means curtailed, possibly referring to the short, stocky build of this species.
The copyrighted information above is from Fishes of Alabama and the Mobile Basin.