This is a small member of the catfish family, with a slender body and flat head, it grows to about 6.4cm (2.5 in) in length. The head and body is light brownish with a contrasting colour pattern consisting of dorsal blotchings. There is little information currently available on the biology of the smoky madtom. However, its feeding habits are probably nocturnal with aquatic insects being the most likely food.
The smoky madtom was first described in1957, but was presumed extinct until 1980. Current population of this species is estimated to be just 500-1,000 fish. It’s future conservation is further compromised by the fact that it is only found in a small area of the Citico Creek, a tributory of the Little Tennessee River.