A new species of ictalurid madtom catfish has been described from the tributaries of the Coastal Plain in Tennessee and Mississippi.
Matthew Thomas and Brooks Burr of Southern Illinois University Department of Zoology and Center for Systematic Biology have described the new species of madtom as Noturus gladiator in the latest issue of the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.
Previous works on the madtom catfishes of the region by Taylor in the 1960s had identified the fish as either Noturus stigmosus or N. cf. stigmosus.
However, a reexamination of the specimens of the species complex in museum collections revealed that the populations of the distant Coastal Plain populations of the old N. stigmosus actually represent an undescribed species, which is now called N. gladiator.
The "new" catfish is historically known from seven river systems. In some places, such as the Obion, Hatchie and Wolf rivers, the species is reportedly stable, while in others, such as tributaries of the Mississippi, it's not been seen for over 20 years.
For more details on the new fish see the paper: Thomas, MR and BM Burr (2004) - Noturus gladiator, a new species of madtom (Siluriformes: Ictaluridae) from the Coastal Plain streams of Tennessee and Mississippi. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. Vol. 15. No. 4. pp. 351-368.