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Acipenser medirostris  Ayres, 1854

Green sturgeon
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Acipenser medirostris
Picture by Gotshall, D.W.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Acipenseriformes (Sturgeons and paddlefishes) > Acipenseridae (Sturgeons) > Acipenserinae
Etymology: Acipenser: Latin, acipenser = sturgeon, 1853 (Ref. 45335);  medirostris: The specific name is derived from medirostris, referring to its moderate snout (Ref. 1998).   More on author: Ayres.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 80 m (Ref. 50610).   Temperate; 10°C - 20°C (Ref. 2059); 65°N - 32°N, 166°W - 114°W (Ref. 54261)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 100.0, range 100 - ? cm
Max length : 250 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 56557); common length : 130 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 159.0 kg (Ref. 2850); max. reported age: 60 years (Ref. 72476)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 33-35; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 22 - 28. Characterized by a single row of 1 to 4 bony plates along the midventral line between the anus and the anal fin, and about 33 to 35 rays in the dorsal fin. Dorsal arises at posterior third of the total length; anal fin arises under posterior part of dorsal; pectorals originate low on the body just behind gill opening and are large and rounded; pelvic fins arise near the anus. Generally olive to dark green, lower parts more or less whitish green; a longitudinal olive-green stripe on side between lateral and ventrolateral plates, another on midventral surface; fins grayish to pale green (Ref. 27547). Barbels usually situated closer to mouth than to snout tip; coloration of scutes along side paler than skin (Ref. 86798).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North America: Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska to Ensenada, Mexico. Considered vulnerable in Canada. The Asian population is now considered to be a separate species Acipenser mikadoi (Ref. 6866). International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.4.98; CMS Appendix II).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in estuaries, lower reaches of large rivers, and in salt or brackish water off river mouths (Ref. 5723). Probably spawns in fresh water (Ref. 27547). May cover considerable distances in the ocean (Ref. 27547). Edible but with a disagreeable taste and unpleasant odor (Ref. 1998).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.3   ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.05-0.09).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (80 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.