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).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Temperate; 60°N - 32°N
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 97.0, range 90 - 120 cm
Max length : 274 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5723); common length : 97.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 125.0 kg (Ref. 3672); max. reported age: 152 years (Ref. 72475)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Single row of preanal shields. Soft area on the top of the head absent and black viscera. Large blotches present on anterior half of upper surface of snout and on back. Lower surface whitish (Ref. 37032). Anal fin origin behind dorsal fin origin; scutes on back and along side same color as skin (Ref. 86798).
North America: St. Lawrence-Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and Mississippi River basins. International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.7.75; CMS Appendix II).
Inhabits bottom of lakes and large rivers (Ref. 10294), usually in 5-9 m depth, over mud, sand, and gravel. Occasionally enters brackish water. A specimen caught in 1952 was reputed to have been 152 years old (Ref. 6866). Search for food, with the aid of the sensory ability of the barbels, by constantly moving close to the substrate. Omnivorous, virtually anything edible that enters the mouth is sucked up and consumed. The food is worked or pulled in the mouth, often partly ejected and sucked in again (Ref. 1998). Spawning sites are rocky and boulder filled areas along the outside bend of rivers (Ref. 41542). Smoked and in 1951, Canada, 2,000 lbs. of caviar were made from the eggs (Ref. 37032). Threatened due to over harvesting, habitat loss and pollution (Ref. 58490).
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)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: experimental; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00263 (0.00198 - 0.00350), b=3.22 (3.16 - 3.28), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.49 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tm=16-26; tmax=97; K=0.04; Fec=50,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (89 of 100) .