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|Title:||Life-history attributes of the imperiled Frecklebelly Madtom, Noturus Munitus (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae), in the Cahaba river system, Alabama|
|Authors:||Micah G. Bennett|
Bernard R. Kuhajda
University of Alabama
St. Louis University
|Keywords:||Agricultural and Biological Sciences|
|Citation:||Southeastern Naturalist. Vol.9, No.3 (2010), 507-520|
|Abstract:||Noturus munitus (Frecklebelly Madtom) is a diminutive catfish with a disjunct distribution across the southeastern United States in large rivers and tributaries of the Mobile Basin and Pearl River drainage. Its distribution has contracted since extensive river modification began throughout its range in the 1960s, and it is likely extirpated from the Alabama River. We collected 242 specimens of N. munitus from a gravel island in the Cahaba River on the Coastal Plain in Alabama from May 2005 to March 2007 to examine life-history characteristics. Adults were associated with fast flow over large gravel at depths of 0.5-1.0 m. Young (<23 mm) were found at water depths of 0.4-0.5 m. Gonad development indicated a reproductive season from May to August, with collection of young-of-the-year in June and July supporting a mid- to late-summer spawn. Stomach content analysis revealed a diet similar to other Noturus species and dominated in volume by Baetidae nymphs (31.2%), Hydropsychidae larvae (20.3%), and Simuliidae larvae (19.7%). Some seasonal and sex differences in diet were apparent. Relative fecundity data indicate that N. munitus is one of the most fecund madtoms of the subgenus Rabida (mean of 30.6 mature oocytes) studied thus far. Few males were found in riffles during summer, and no young were found in riffles outside summer, indicating potential sex and size differences in seasonal habitat use. This knowledge is important for conservation of the species.|
|Appears in Collections:||Scopus 2006-2010|
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