The slender madtom feeds primarily on aquatic insects and their larvae, as well as small crustaceans (2) (6). Most activity occurs at night, with feeding generally peaking around dawn and dusk. During the day, the slender madtom shelters under rocks or other cover (2).
This species spawns between June and July. The female produces 20 to 150 eggs, which are laid in nest cavities excavated by the male. The nests are usually found under large, flat rocks in shallow pools with little or no current, although some nests may be placed in shallow riffles. The male slender madtom cares for the eggs, with the female leaving the nest soon after spawning (2) (4).