• Family: Ictaluridae (North American Catfishes)
• Other Names: None
• Ohio Status: No special status
• Adult Size: Typically 2-3 inches, can reach 5 inches.
• Typical Foods: Various aquatic invertebrates.
The tadpole madtom can be various shades of brown or yellow brown. They do not have any dark markings on their body. They are darkest colored on their back with the color getting lighter on their sides and then fading into a white or yellow belly. Their adipose fin is completely connected to their tail which is very large and rounded giving them a tadpole like appearance. The rear edge of their pectoral spines is straight not deeply serrated.
Habitat and Habits
The tadpole madtom is found in areas with little or no current. They are often found in slow moving streams or rivers, swamps, marshes, or natural lakes. They often hide in thick vegetation in areas with a soft mud or muck bottom. This species of madtom is one of the three rather common species found in Ohio. They are most common in the flat North Western part of the state but isolated populations do occur throughout Ohio.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
The tadpole 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.