Photo by David & Lynn Eisenhour
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Noturus fasciatus Burr, Eisenhour & Grady 2005
Identification: The Saddled Madtom has a long, slender body that is dark brown above and has 3 or 4 prominent ivory to yellow saddles alternating with dark saddles. A brown blotch on the base of the dorsal fin extends up the front edge of the fin. There is no black blotch at the top of the dorsal fin. A dark blotch in the adipose fin extends to, or nearly to, the edge of the fin. There is a large dark bar on the caudal fin base, and 2 or 3 dark bands on the caudal fin: 1 in the middle of the fin and 1 or 2 near the edge. The origin of the adipose fin is over the anal fin, and the adipose fin is joined to the caudal fin. The short pectoral spine has 6-9 large teeth on the rear edge and small teeth along the front. The caudal fin has a straight edge or is slightly rounded. There are usually 17-18 anal rays. To 3 1/4 in. (8.5 cm) total length.
Range: The Saddled Madtom is found in the Duck River system and nearby tributaries of the Tennessee River in Hardin and Wayne counties, Tennessee. The species is uncommon.
Habitat: The Saddled Madtom lives in rocky riffles, runs and flowing pools of clear creeks and small rivers.
Similar species: The Elegant Madtom, N. elegans, and the Chucky Madtom, N. crypticus, lack large dark bar on caudal fin base, have less prominent saddles, dark blotch confined to lower half of adipose fin. Chucky Madtom also has long adipose fin beginning at dorsal fin, prominent black specks on cheek, usually 16 anal rays.