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Noturus placidus.jpg
Neosho madtom, Noturus placidus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Ictaluridae
Genus: Noturus
Rafinesque, 1818
Type species
Noturus flavus
Rafinesque, 1818
  • Schilbeodes
    Bleeker, 1858
  • Pimelodon
    Lesueur, in Vaillant, 1896
  • Rabida
    Jordan & Evermann, 1896

Madtoms are freshwater catfishes (order Siluriformes) of the genus Noturus of the family Ictaluridae. It is the most species-rich family of catfish in North America, native to the central and eastern United States, and adjacent parts of Canada.[1] Their fin spines contain a mild venom with a sting comparable to that of a honey bee.[2]

Nearly half the species of madtom catfishes were described in a single comprehensive revision of the group. Morphology is very conserved in this genus; most of the species look very similar and telling them apart with the usual meristic and morphometric characters used to identify species is difficult. The more conspicuously variable attributes of these secretive fishes are features of pigmentation, which also are more difficult to quantify and often vary according to substrate and water quality.[1] These species have small to tiny or fragmented ranges, and aspects of pigmentation are important diagnostic characters of each.[1] Over one-quarter of the recognized species diversity in Noturus remains undescribed.[3]

A number of madtom species are narrowly distributed and extremely rare, thus are at great risk of extinction. Noturus trautmani may even be extinct, having been last collected in 1957.[1]


The 29 recognized species in this genus are:[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Burr, Brooks M.; Eisenhour, David J.; Grady, James M. (2005). Armbruster, J. W. (ed.). "Two New Species of Noturus (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae) from the Tennessee River Drainage: Description, Distribution, and Conservation Status". Copeia. 2005 (4): 783–802. doi:10.1643/0045-8511(2005)005[0783:TNSONS]2.0.CO;2.
  2. ^ Florida Museum of Natural History: Ictaluridae Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  3. ^ Near, Thomas J.; Hardman, Michael (2006). Quattro, J. M. (ed.). "Phylogenetic Relationships of Noturus stanauli and N. crypticus (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae), Two Imperiled Freshwater Fish Species from the Southeastern United States" (PDF). Copeia. 2006 (3): 378–383. doi:10.1643/0045-8511(2006)2006[378:PRONSA]2.0.CO;2.
  4. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2011). Species of Noturus in FishBase. December 2011 version.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Noturus at Wikimedia Commons