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Any of several small freshwater North American catfishes of the genus Noturus, having poison glands at the base of the pectoral and dorsal fin spines.

[mad + tom(cat) (probably so called because the fish swim in an excited zigzag manner when agitated).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Animals) any of various North American catfish
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



any of several small North American freshwater catfishes of the genus Noturus, having a poisonous pectoral spine.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
As a seine net was dragged through a bed of aquatic "weeds," he captured several small catfish known as madtoms, characterized by their distinct miniature size, fused tail and adipose fins.
Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were present at the end of June and the beginning of July, while stonecat madtoms (Noturus flavus) did not appear in the drift until the beginning of August.
lucius, Northern pike 1 (5-1976) Cyprinidae, carps, minnows, & shiners Notemigonus crysoleucas, 2 (1-1976); 1 (5-1976) Golden shiner Pimephales notatus, Bluntnose minnow Catostomidae, suckers Catostomus commersonii, 45 (5-1976) White sucker Ictaluridae, bullheads, madtoms, & catfish Ameiurus melas, Black bullhead A.
Willow cats are tadpole madtoms (Noturus gyrinus), not to be confused with young bullheads, which were sold as "bullhead minnows" as early as the 1920s.
While all species can be prey at some stage in their life cycle, I only counted the small-bodied cyprinids, madtoms, darters, and topminnows as prey.
The QHEI pool/riffle sub-metric was significantly related to the number of habitat specialist species (e.g., darters, madtoms, sculpins and suckers).
Madtoms are a subgroup of the North American bullhead catfish family Ictaluridae.
Chromosomal evolution in North American catfishes (Siluriformes; Ictaluridae) with particular emphasis on the madtoms, Noturus.
Beneath the wooded ridges lies a spectacular cavernous underworld whose subterranean streams sometimes force their way to the surface to shelter paleback darters, Ouachita madtoms, and Kiamichi shiners.
Scientists presented discoveries in feeding ecology, distribution, movements and behavior; stocking methods, sampling techniques, and age-growth of channel, flat-head, and blue catfish; as well studies on madtoms and bullheads.
Neosho madtoms occupy riffles of pebble and gravel bars and feed at night on larval insects (Wildhaber 2006).
Their valves provide habitat for algae and aquatic insect larvae and provide nests and refugia for certain species of fishes, such as madtoms (Noturus spp.).