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FILE - A margined madtom.
Matt Tillet
FILE - A margined madtom.

Madtoms are a family of freshwater catfish that are generally only 2-5 inches in length.

Transcript (edited for clarity):


Hi, I'm Rudy Mancke from USC for NatureNotes.

Madtoms — you ever heard of them? Smallest catfish species that we've got, and really four in South Carolina.

One's called a tadpole catfish. It's one to five inches, chubby body, terminal mouth, feeds on invertebrates. Pretty good in an aquarium, really. It hides in floating vegetation a lot.

And then speckled madtoms, which nest in bottles and cans on the bottom of streams. Hopefully you're not going to find them down there, but sadly sometimes we do. The first one I found was in a freshwater mussel. I was studying mussels, picked it up, and here was this little speckled madtom.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's <i>NatureScene</i>, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. After retiring from SCETV, Rudy went on to become naturalist-in-residence at the University of South Carolina, Columbia. He hosted SC Public Radio's <i>NatureNotes</i> from 1999 until his death in 2023 at age 78.