Acipenser naccarii Bonaparte, 1836
Adriatic sturgeon
photo by Andreoli, R.

Family:  Acipenseridae (Sturgeons), subfamily: Acipenserinae
Max. size:  200 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 25 kg
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 10 - 40 m, anadromous
Distribution:  Europe: Adriatic Sea and its tributaries between Po (Italy) and Buna (Albania) drainages. Recorded from Corfu; present in lowermost part of Adriatic rivers from Soca to Drin. Records from Tyrrhenian slope of Italy, Spain and France are erroneous. In Appendix II of the Bern Convention (strictly protected fauna). International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.4.98; CMS Appendix II). Only a single surviving naturally- spawning population at confluence of Ticino and Po; occasional records from Adriatic Sea and coastal rivers; spawning populations survived in Albania, but have possibly been extirpated. Status of threat: critically endangered.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 36-48; Anal soft rays: 24-31. Snout moderate, very broad and rounded at tip. Lower lip continuous, interrupted at center. Barbels nearer to tip of snout than to mouth and not touching it. Five rows of scutes, dorsal 10-14 (the middle ones deeper and usually larger than those at front), lateral 32-42 on each side, ventral 8-11 on each side, with no smaller plates between dorsal and lateral rows. Back is olivaceous brown, flanks lighter, belly white.
Biology:  Occurs in the sea close to shore and estuaries, not entering pure marine waters. In freshwater, it inhabits large deep rivers (Ref. 59043). A long-lived species which is found mainly over sand and mud. Feeds on bottom-living invertebrates and small fishes. Reproduction takes place from May to July. Is threatened by habitat destruction, pollution and overfishing (Ref. 26100). The flesh is used for food but the eggs are not consumed as caviar (Ref. 6866).
IUCN Red List Status: Critically Endangered (CR); Date assessed: 24 October 2009 (A2bcde; B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 19.03.91
Modified by: Zeng, Shouying - 17.04.13
Checked by: Froese, Rainer - 03.02.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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