Freckled Madtom

Freckled Madtom, photo courtesy of the Virtual Aquarium, The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia.

Characteristics

The color of the Freckled Madtom varies from yellow to dark brown with dark freckles about the lower lip and chin. The upper jaw projects beyond the lower jaw, and the pectoral spines lack anterior serrae. There are from 15 to 20, usually no more than 18 anal rays. The caudal fin is usually darker than the other fins. Posterior corners of the premaxillary tooth band are rounded or sometimes obtusely angulate. Freckled Madtoms rarely exceed 4 inches in length.

Distribution

Freckled Madtom Distribution

The freckled madtom is an endangered species in Iowa. It was added to Iowa’s species list in 1984 when several specimens were collected from a single site in the English River. Since, this species has been found in another part of the lower Iowa River watershed as well as in the Mississippi River and one of its tributaries.

Foods

Benthic invertebrates - immature insects and worms that live on the bottom of streams

State Record

Not allowed for threatened or endangered species.

Expert Tip

In Iowa, it is illegal to fish for, take or possess threatened or endangered species, including the Freckled Madtom.

Details

The Freckled Madtom prefers medium-sized creeks to large rivers of low to moderate gradient with clear to moderate turbidity and silty-gravel or sand-gravel substrates. It is often found in riffles and pools where organic debris such as leaves or twigs tend to accumulate. The Freckled Madtom avoids streams with shifting sand bottoms. The Freckled Madtom has been found in trash piles against stream banks or in shallow pools underneath rocks.  Spawning behavior is probably similar to that of other madtoms.

The Freckled Madtom is found in the tributaries of the upper Mississippi River in northeastern Missouri, thus it may be resent in other southeastern Iowa locations.

These fish have minimal importance to anglers. It is viewed as vulnerable according to the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan, and it is on the threatened species list in Iowa (571 IAC 77.2(2) (2015)).

Recent stream sampling information is available from Iowa DNR's biological monitoring and assessment program.

Sources:

Harlan, J.R., E.B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew. 1987. Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Conservation Commission, Des Moines, Iowa. 323pp.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Wildlife Action Plan

Loan-Wilsey, A. K., C. L. Pierce, K. L. Kane, P. D. Brown and R. L. McNeely. 2005. The Iowa Aquatic Gap Analysis Project Final Report. Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Iowa State University, Ames

Photo courtesy of the Virtual Aquarium, The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia,.

 


Return
Present in these Iowa water bodies: