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Acipenser stellatus  Pallas, 1771

Starry sturgeon
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Acipenser stellatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Acipenser stellatus (Starry sturgeon)
Acipenser stellatus
Picture by Hartl, A.

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: Pallas.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; anadromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 10 - 100 m.   Temperate; 10°C - 20°C (Ref. 2059); 61°N - 36°N, 22°E - 54°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 120 - ? cm
Max length : 220 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9988); common length : 125 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3397); max. published weight: 80.0 kg (Ref. 9988); max. reported age: 27 years (Ref. 6866)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 40-46; Anal soft rays: 24 - 29. Snout long, pointed at tip. Lower lip not continuous, interrupted at center. Barbels short not reaching mouth but nearer to it than to tip of snout. Five rows of scutes, dorsal 11-14, lateral 30-36 on each side, ventral 10-11 on each side, with small bony stellate plates and smaller grains between main scute rows. Back dark grey to almost black, flanks lighter, belly white.

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

Eurasia: Caspian, Black, Azov and Aegean Seas, ascending rivers to spawn. Occurrence in Albania needs confirmation. Introduced in Aral Sea. Artificially propagated (Ref. 6866). Appendix III of the Bern Convention (protected fauna). International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.4.98; CMS Appendix II).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

At the sea, it occurs in coastal and estuarine zones and forages on the bottom mostly on clayey sand and intensively in the middle and upper water layers (Ref. 59043). Found mainly near shore over sand and mud, stays at the bottom during the day and rises to the surface to feed at night. Feeds mainly on fish, also mollusks, crustaceans and worms (Ref. 3193). Spawns in strong-current habitats in main course of large and deep rivers, on stone or gravel bottom. Spawning also takes place on flooded river banks and if gravel bottom is not available, on sand or sandy clay. Juveniles stay in shallow riverine habitats during first summer (Ref. 59043). One of the three most important species for caviar; also utilized fresh and frozen; eaten pan-fried, broiled and baked (Ref. 9988). Overfishing at the sea for meat and caviar will soon cause extinction of the natural populations and their survival can only depend on stocking (Ref. 59043).

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

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Bauchot, M.-L., 1987. Poissons osseux. p. 891-1421. In W. Fischer, M.L. Bauchot and M. Schneider (eds.) Fiches FAO d'identification pour les besoins de la pêche. (rev. 1). Méditerranée et mer Noire. Zone de pêche 37. Vol. II. Commission des Communautés Européennes and FAO, Rome. (Ref. 3397)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

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=0.00490 (0.00284 - 0.00846), b=3.10 (2.95 - 3.25), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.5   ±0.2 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.06; tm=9; tmax=27; Fec=20,000-360,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (64 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.