Black MadtomLarry Page
The Black Madtom has a stout body that is black or blue-black above, lighter below, with a pattern of tiny black dots over the body. Dots are most conspicuous on the light underside of the head and belly. The anal fin is long with 21-27 rays and reaches the caudal fin. The upper jaw projects beyond the lower jaw. The pectoral spine has no or only a few small teeth on the rear edge. The caudal fin is straight or slightly rounded. To 5 3/4 in. (15 cm) total length.
The Black Madtom is found in Gulf Slope drainages from Enconfina Creek, Florida, to the Pearl River, Mississippi and Louisiana. This species is common.
Distribution of Noturus funebris. © Larry Page
The Black Madtom inhabits vegetated areas in moderate to fast, clear water creeks and small rivers. It usually is found in flowing water over gravel and sand.
The Brown Madtom, Noturus phaeus, is brown above and has large sawlike teeth on the rear edge of the pectoral fin spine and a shorter anal fin with 20-22 rays. The Speckled Madtom, Noturus leptacanthus, is brown and has conspicuous black specks - some much larger than others - on the back and sides and 14-19 anal rays. The Freckled Madtom, Noturus nocturnus, lacks dark dots or specks on the underside of the head and belly, and has 16-18 anal rays.
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Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, Florida, USA
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Larry Page at and Griffin Sheehy at
Page copyright © 2007 Larry Page
All Rights Reserved.
- First online 23 May 2007
- Content changed 23 May 2007
Citing this page:
Page, Larry. 2007. Noturus funebris http://tolweb.org/Noturus_funebris/69900/2007.05.23 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Black Madtom. Version 23 May 2007 (under construction).