Photo by B. M. Burr
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Noturus flavipinnis Taylor 1969
Identification: The Yellowfin Madtom has a stout body with the deepest point located in front of the dorsal fin. The body is yellow with dark mottling, specks and 4 dark saddles above, and is yellow to white below. A brown saddle in front of the dorsal fin usually encloses 2 light spots. The fins are yellow with dark bands or mottling at the middle and near the edges. A bold black bar on the base of the caudal fin extends from the top to the bottom of the fin. The dark saddle under the adipose fin extends to the edge of the fin. The caudal fin has a pale edge. The adipose fin is nearly free from the caudal fin. The caudal fin is straight or slightly rounded. The pectoral spine has 4-10 large teeth on the rear edge and several large teeth on the front edge. The anal fin has 14-16 rays. To 6 in. (15 cm) total length.
Range: The Yellowfin Madtom is found in the upper Tennessee River drainage in Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. The species is extremely rare, has disappeared from many historical sites, and is protected as a threatened species.
Habitat: The Yellowfin Madtom inhabits pools and backwaters around slab rocks, bedrock ledges, and tree roots in clear creeks and small rivers.
Similar species: The Brindled Madtom, Noturus miurus, and Checkered Madtom, Noturus flavater, have a black blotch on the dorsal fin and a black or brown border on the caudal fin.