Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Acipenseriformes
(Sturgeons and paddlefishes) > Acipenseridae
(Sturgeons) > Acipenserinae
Etymology: Acipenser: Latin, acipenser = sturgeon, 1853 (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 7.0 - 7.5; dH range: ? - 20; potamodromous (Ref. 57765); depth range 0 - 200 m (Ref. 57765), usually 1 - 8 m (Ref. 57765). Temperate; 1°C - 19°C (Ref. 57765); 74°N - 46°N, 64°E - 162°E
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 86.9, range 65 - 167 cm
Max length : 200 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40476); max. published weight: 210.0 kg (Ref. 59043); max. reported age: 63 years (Ref. 57765)
Extended snouts; four barbels in front of the mouth (Ref. 4639). The back is light grey to dark brown colored. The belly color varies from white to clear yellow. Five row s of scutes: 10-19D, 32-59L, 7-16V. Small star-like scutes between the main ones. Clearly slit inferior lip (Ref. 40476).
Asia: Siberia, rivers Ob, Irtysh, Yenisei, Lena, Kolyma, Khatanga, Pyasina, Anabar, Olenyok, Yana and Lake Baikal (Ref. 57765). Non-migratory populations exist in all river systems (Ref. 57765). International trade restricted (CITES Appendix II, since 1.4.1998).
Found in deep and shallow parts of rivers, with moderate to swift current usually at depths of 1 to 8 m (Ref. 57765). Adults live essentially in freshwater although some fish frequently occur in estuaries. Males are sexually mature between 9 and 29 years; females between 9 and 34 years (Ref. 57765). Spawn in main river channel over stone-gravel or gravel-sand bottom and with strong current (Ref. 59043).
Anadromous species. In a natural environment, males reach sexual maturity at 9-1 5 years of age and females at 16-20 years (in water recirculation systems, sexual maturity can first occur at 5 years). Spawning happens in the summer and generally every two years. Membranes on eggs become increasingly more sticky after fertilization and this allows them to stick to the
substratum. This can become a problem in nurseries, but it is solved by washing the eggs in clay or diatomaceous earth suspensions. Caviar (not fecundated ovocites ) can be over 1 0% of the corporal weight of a mature female. Incubation
lasts about 1 6 days (at 10-1 5°). Larvae
development lasts about 20 days (at 18°). Egg size 3.0-3.6 mm, larval length at hatching 10-12 mm.
Baillie, J. and B. Groombridge (eds.), 1996. 1996 IUCN red list of threatened animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 378 p. (Ref. 12255)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: highly commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: public aquariums
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00245 (0.00142 - 0.00424), b=3.30 (3.16 - 3.44), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.2 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tm=7-34; tmax=63; Fec=16,500-420,000; K=0.03).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (85 of 100) .