Slender Madtom
Noturus exilis
About This Fish

The Slender Madtom has a disjunct distribution in the central United States, including the Tennessee and Cumberland river drainages. They live in rocky pools and riffles of small creeks to small rivers. As the common name suggests, Slender Madtoms have a slender body. As members of the catfish family, all madtoms have whiskers (barbels) around their mouth with taste buds that aid in finding food. Like all members of the genus Noturus, Slender Madtoms are smaller catfish reaching a maximum size of 5.75 inches.


McAllister, C.T., W.F. Font, M.B. Connior, H.W. Robison, T.J. Fayton, N.G. Stokes, and C.D. Criscione. 2015. Trematode parasites (Digenea) of the slender madtom Noturus exilis and black river madtom Noturus maydeni (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae) from Arkansas, USA. Comparative Parasitology. 82(1):137-144.

Blanton, R.E., L.M. Page, and S.A. Hilber. 2013. Timing of clade divergence and discordant estimates of genetic and morphological diversity in the Slender Madtom, Noturus exilis (Ictaluridae). Molecular phylogenetics and evolution. 66(3):679-693.

Simon, T.P., and B.M. Burr. 2004. Description of developmental stages of the stonecat, Noturus flavus and the slender madtom, Noturus exilis Siluriformes: Ictaluridae. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science. 113(2):123-132.

Lyons, J. 1996. Recent decline in the distribution and abundance of slender madtom (Noturus exilis) in Wisconsin. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. 11(4):415-419.

Phillips, E., and R.V. Kilambi. 1996. Food habits of four benthic fish species (Etheostoma spectabile, Percina caprodes, Noturus exilis, Cottus carolinae) from northwest Arkansas streams. The Southwestern Naturalist. 41:69-73.

Layher, W.G., and F.B. Cross. 1987. New Distributional Records of the Rosyface Shiner and Slender Madtom in Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. 90(3/4):150-152.

Vives, S.P. 1987. Aspects of the life history of the slender madtom Noturus exilis in northeastern Oklahoma (Pisces: Ictaluridae). American Midland Naturalist. 167-176.

Burr, B.M. 1984. Reproductive biology of the checkered madtom (Noturus flavater) with observations on nesting in the Ozark (N. albater) and slender (N. exilis) madtoms (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae). American Midland Naturalist. 408-414.

Robison, H.W., and S. Winters. 1978. Occurrence of the Slender Madtom, Noturus exilis Nelson (Osteichthyes: Ictaluridae), in the Little River System, Arkansas. The Southwestern Naturalist. 23(4):688-689.