Broadtail Madtom
Photo by B. H. Bauer
South Shore of Lake Waccamaw, ca. .5 mile E of Dam, Columbus Co., NC
43 mm SL, Collected 6-July 1979

Noturus species

Identification: The Broadtail Madtom is similar to the Speckled Madtom, Noturus leptacanthus, but lacks dark specks on the body, has a conspicuous dark blotch at the base of the caudal fin, and has a stouter body and a rounded caudal fin. The body is tan to red-brown above and white or yellow below. The caudal fin is light brown with a clear or pale border; other fins are light brown with a dark base. The upper jaw projects beyond the lower jaw. The anal fin has 12-16 rays. To 2 1/4 in. (6 cm) total length.

Range: The Broadtail Madtom is found in the Cape Fear and Peedee River drainages on the Coastal Plain of North Carolina and South Carolina. The species is locally common.

Habitat: The Broadtail Madtom inhabits sand- and gravel-bottom riffles, pools, and main channels of medium-sized rivers. It usually is found near debris.

Similar species: The Speckled Madtom, Noturus leptacanthus, is more slender and has a straight-edged or slightly rounded caudal fin, dark specks on the body and fins, and a dark blotch at the base of the pectoral fin. The Tadpole Madtom, Noturus gyrinus, has jaws of equal length (upper jaw not projecting beyond lower jaw) and reaches 5 in. (13 cm) in total length.

Broadtail Madtom
Distribution Map