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  • Acipenser brevirostris  Lesueur, 1818
    FAO Names
    En - Shortnose sturgeon, Fr - , Sp - .
    3Alpha Code: AAY     Taxonomic Code: 1170100111
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Acipenser brevirostrum  Lesueur, 1818. Description of several species of chondropterygious fishes of North America, with their varieties. Trans. Am. Philos. Soc. 383-394.
    Diagnostic Features
    Body elongate, somewhat cylindical, rostrum usually short but very variable.  Spiracle present. Snout and caudal peduncle subconical. Gill membranes joined to isthmus. Mouth transverse. Two pairs of barbels present, always originating closer to the tip of snout than mouth. Mouth wide with the upper lip indented in the middle and lower lip interrupted.  D: 38-42; A: 19-22.  8-13 dorsal scutes; 22-33 lateral scutes, 7-11 ventral scutes. Scutes usually ligther than surrounding body and undergo minimal absorption in very large individuals. Preanal plates posterior to cloacae vary in number (1-3) but never paired. Post dorsal plates are small, 1-2 and paired. Small denticles present on lateral and lateroventral surface.  Colour varies from overall peanut-butter broiwn or black on dorsum turnig ligther on lateral side with pronounced change to white or off-white on ventral surface. Juveniles covered with small black spots, not black saddle markings. Viscera blackish (Scott & Crossman, 1990; 1966; Vecsei & Peterson, 2000). 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Along the east coast of North America in the lower portion of rivers. In Canada it is known only from the Saint John River. In the United States, its range is disjunct with a 400 km gap separating northern and southern populations. Unlike the Atlantic sturgeon, A. oxyrinchus, which commonly move along the coast, shortnose sturgeon are restricted to their rivers of origin (Vecsei & Peterson, 2000).
    Habitat and Biology
    From the spring to the early fall, shortnose sturgeon inhabit the deeper channels of freshwater and brackist zones of rivers; with declining water temperatures, they are concentred in wintering ground (Bain, 1997).The pattern of anadromy varies with latitude (Kynard, 1997).Zoobenthos (benthic crustaceans, insects: chironomid larvae, sludgeworms).
    Length at maturity ranges from 45 to 55 cm FL but age at maturity varies greatly between sexes and with latitude. Spawn in late winter to mid-spring.  Spawn when river temperature increases to about 9ºC (Dadswell et al., 1984). 
    Males are tought to spawn at intervals of 2 years whilwe females at 3 to 5 years intervals (Kieffer & Kynard, 1996).  Maximum known age is 67 years for females and 30 years for males (Dadswell et al. 1984).
    Maximum size: 1.5 m and weigh 25 kg but most fish caught are usually less than half that size.
    Interest to Fisheries
    The shortnose sturgeon is on the list of rare or endangered Canadian fishes.
    The flesh is of good quality. The eggs are suitable for caviar but the present small size and low availability of this species make it of only incidental commercial importance today (Scott & Crossman, 1990).
    Local Names
    Spain : Esturión hociquicorto .
    France : Esturgeon à museau court ,  Esturgeon à nez court .
    United Kingdom : Shornose sturgeon ,  Short-nosed little sturgeon .
    Bain, M. B. - 1997. Atlantic and shortnose sturgeons of the Hudson River: common and divergent life history attributes. Environ. Biol. Fish. .  48: 347-358..
    Bigelow, H.B., M.G. Bradbury, J.R. Dymond, J.R. Greeley, S.F. Hildebrand, G.W. Mead, R.R. Miller, L.R. Rivas, W.L. Schroeder, R.D. Suttkus & V.D. Vladykov. - 1953. Fishes of the Western North Atlantic. Soft-rayed bony fishes. Mem. Sears. Found. Mar. Res. .  1(Pt. 3): 630 .p.
    Birstein, V.B. & W.E. Bemis. - 1997. How many species are there within the genus Acipenser? Environ. Biol. Fish. .  48: 157-163..
    Birstein, V.J. - 1993 . Sturgeons and paddlefishes: threatened fishes in need of conservation. Conserv. Biol. .  7:773-787..
    Birstein, V.J., Bemis, W.E. & J.R. Waldman. - 1997. The threatened status of acipenseriform species: a summary. Environm. Biol. Fish. .  48:427-435..
    Dadswell, M. J., B.D. Taubert, T.S. Squirers, D. Marchette & J. Buckley. - 1984. Synopsis of biological data on shortnose sturgeon, Acipenser brevirostrum Lesueur, 1818. FAO Fish. Synop. 140. .  1-45..
    Hilton-Taylor, C. - 2000. 2000 IUCN red list of threatened species. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. .  xviii + 61 .p. with 1 CD-ROM.
    Jones, P.W., F.D. Martin & J.D. Hardy, Jr. - 1978. Development of fishes of the Mid-Atlantic Bight. An atlas of eggs, larval and juvenile stages. Vol. 1 - Acipenseridae through Ictaluridae. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. .  336 p..
    Kieffer, M. & B. Kynard. - 1996. Spawning of shortnose sturgeon in the Merrimack River. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. .  125: 179-186..
    Kynard, B. - 1997. Life history, latitudinal patterns, and status of the shortnose sturgeon, Acipenser brevirostrum. Environ. Biol. Fish. .  48: 319-334..
    Nelson, J.S. - 1994. Fishes of the world. 3rd.edition. John Wiley & Sons.
    Page, L.M. & B.M. Burr. - 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. .  432 p..
    Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea & W.B. Scott. - 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Pub. .  (20):183 .p.
    Scott, W.B. - 1978. Acipenseridae. In W. Fischer (ed.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. West Atlantic (Fishing Area 31). FAO, Rome. .  Vol. 1. .[pag. var.].
    Scott, W.B. & E.J. Crossman. - 1990. Freshwater Fishes of Canada. Bull. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. .  184: 966 .p.
    Vecsei, P. & D. Peterson. - 2000. Threatened fishes of the world: Acipenser brevirostrum Lesuer, 1818 (Acipenseridae). Environ. Biol. Fish. .  59(3):270..
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