Broadtail MadtomLarry Page
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.
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.
Distribution of the Broadtail Madtom. © Larry Page
The Broadtail Madtom inhabits sand- and gravel-bottom riffles, pools, and main channels of medium-sized rivers. It usually is found near debris.
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.
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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
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- First online 23 May 2007
- Content changed 23 May 2007
Citing this page:
Page, Larry. 2007. Noturus species. Broadtail Madtom. Version 23 May 2007 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Noturus_species/69895/2007.05.23 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/