Photo by B. M. Burr
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Noturus crypticus Burr, Eisenhour & Grady 2005
Identification: The Chucky Madtom has a moderately slender body that is yellow-gray to dark brown above and has 3-4 light yellow saddles. The long, low adipose fin begins at the dorsal fin and reaches the caudal fin. A brown blotch on the dorsal fin base extends up the front edge of the fin. There is no black blotch at the top of the dorsal fin. The cheek has prominent black specks. There is a dark blotch in the lower half of the adipose fin and 3 dark bands on the caudal fin. The short pectoral spine has 6-8 large teeth on the rear edge and small teeth along the front. The rear edge of the caudal fin is rounded. There are usually 16 anal rays. To 3 in. (7.4 cm) total length.
Range: The Chucky Madtom has been found in Dunn Creek, Sevier Co., Tennessee, and Little Chucky Creek, Greene Co., Tennessee. Both streams are in the French Broad drainage. The species is extremely rare and probably extirpated from Dunn Creek.
Habitat: The Chucky Madtom occupies slow rocky riffles and runs of clear creeks.
Similar species: The Saddled Madtom, N. fasicatus, has shorter adipose fin beginning over anal fin, large dark bar on caudal fin base, more prominent saddles, no prominent black specks on cheek, usually 17-18 anal rays. The Smoky Madtom, N. baileyi, has shorter adipose fin beginning over anal fin, no prominent black specks on cheek, dusky band in adipose fin extending nearly to fin edge, 12-14 anal rays. The Elegant Madtom, N. elegans, has shorter adipose fin beginning over anal fin, no prominent black specks on cheek.