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Acipenser ruthenus  Linnaeus, 1758

Sterlet sturgeon
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Image of Acipenser ruthenus (Sterlet sturgeon)
Acipenser ruthenus
Picture by Meyer, T.

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).   More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - ? m.   Temperate; 72°N - 40°N, 12°E - 103°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 43.0, range 40 - 45 cm
Max length : 125 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6866); common length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 556); max. published weight: 16.0 kg (Ref. 593); max. reported age: 20 years (Ref. 556)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 28; Anal spines: 9; Anal soft rays: 14 - 18. Back and flanks are beige. Five rows of scutes : 12-17D, 57-71L, 10-19V. Ventrals and laterals are very light-colored, nearly white. Narrow and pointed snout with four long and fringed barbels. Inferior lip clearly slit (Ref. 40476). Can be diagnosed from congeners in Europe by having 56-71 lateral scutes, first dorsal scute not fused with head, barbels fimbriate, lower lip interrupted in middle and 11-27 gill rakers (Ref. 59043).

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

Eurasia: rivers draining to Black, Azov and Caspian Seas; Siberia from Ob eastward to Yenisei drainages. Introduced throughout Europe, without formation of self-sustaining populations. Appendix III of the Bern Convention (protected fauna). International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.4.98; CMS Appendix II for Danube population).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A fluvial fish which inhabits rivers and their tributaries (Ref. 9696). Occurs in large rivers, usually in the current and in deep water. Moves to flooded areas to feed (Ref. 59043). Chiefly potamodromous (Ref. 58897). Like other sturgeons, it aggregates in bottom holes in winter and exhibits little activity. In spring, when ice breaks, it rises from the bottom holes and moves upstream for spawning (Ref. 593). Spawns in habitats with strong-current on gravel, rarely on gravel-sand bottom or in flooded sites. Juveniles stay in riverine habitats during their first summer. Classified as endangered species. Anadromous populations are now extirpated; local populations are still surviving in most parts of range (Ref. 59043).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Scatters eggs on gravel.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Birstein, V.J., 1993. Sturgeons and paddlefishes: threatened fishes in need of conservation. Conserv. Biol. 7:773-787. (Ref. 6866)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2cde)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(Aquaculture: production; fisheries: production, species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00129 (0.00074 - 0.00223), b=3.30 (3.15 - 3.45), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tm=5-9; tmax=25; K=0.12; Fec=11,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (64 of 100) .
unknown
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.