• Family: Ictaluridae (North American Catfishes)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 2-4 inches, can reach 5.5 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates.
The brindled madtom is a small catfish with a rounded tail. Their adipose fin has a dark saddle that goes up to and across the top edge of the fin. They also have a dark almost black blotch on the top of their dorsal fin. Their body coloration is a light brown with several dark strongly contrasting saddles or blotches down their back. Their sides are speckled with light and dark brown dots and they have a cream or white colored belly. The rear edge of their pectoral spines are deeply serrated. Brindled madtoms differ from the mountain and northern madtoms by having dark pigment on the top edge of the dorsal fin.
Habitat and Habits
The Brindled madtom is found throughout the state of Ohio and is rather abundant in areas with good habitat. They are found in areas with a clean sand or gravel bottom and avoid areas with a soft mud, muck, or silt covered bottom. They are most common in medium sized streams and rivers and often found near the edge of pools in roots, leaf liter, brush piles, or other debris. They are not typically found in fast current like some other madtom species. They are one of the three relatively common species of madtoms found in Ohio.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
The brindled madtom spawns in early summer when water temperatures approach 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They attach their sticky eggs to the underside of a rock, log, or over hanging root. The male then guards the eggs until they hatch.