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Acipenser stellatus:   (click for more)

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  • Acipenser seuruga  Gueldenstädt, 1772:533.
  • Acipenser helops  Pallas, 1814:97.
  • Acipenser ratzenburgii  Brand (in Brand and Ratzeburg), 1883,2: 351-352.
  • Acipenser stellatus donensis  Lovetsky, 1834
  • Helops stellatus  Bonaparte, 1846:21.
  • Acipenser stellatus illyricus  Brusina, 1902:60.
  • Acipenser stellatus stellatus stellatus  Berg, 1932:65.
    FAO Names
    En - Starry sturgeon, Fr - Esturgeon étoilé, Sp - Esturión estrellado.
    3Alpha Code: APE     Taxonomic Code: 1170100105
    Scientific Name with Original Description
    Acipenser stellatus  Pallas, 1771-76. Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des russischen Reiches. vol. 1. 1771:12 unnumb. index, + Pls. A-Z, AA-NN. 1:131(Volga at Simbirsk), 285, 292. Ural at Gur'ev, 460 (ascents rivers from the Caspian Sea). St. Petersburg. 3 vols. Reise Russ. Reiches.
    Diagnostic Features
    Spiracle present. Snout greatly elongated and sword-shaped, usually more than 60 % of the head length. Gill membranes joined to isthmus. Mouth transverse and lower lip with a split in the middle. The barbels are short and no fimbriate, not reaching the mouth but nearer to it than to tip of snout.  D: 40-54; A: 22-35 fin rays.  9-16 dorsal scutes; 26-43 lateral scutes; 9-14 ventral scutes. The dorsal scutes have radial stripes and strongly developed spines with the tips directed caudal. Between the rows of scutes, the body is covered by star plates.  The body colouration is blackish-brown dorsally and laterally. The belly is light, and the ventral scutes are dirty white coloured. 
    Geographical Distribution

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    Caspian, Azov, Black, and Aegean Seas, from which it migates into the rivers (Shubina et al., 1989).
    Habitat and Biology
    During the daytime they are often encountered in the upper layer, while at nigth, they are generally found at the bottom.The starry sturgeon inhabits the coastal sea waters (at depths from 100 to 300 m in the Caspian Sea) over clayey or sandy and clayey sediments, and the lowland section of rivers.Feeding habits vary with size, season and specific features of the water bodies (rivers or sea). The younger individuals feed primarily on crustaceans, while fishes (Gobiidae, Caspialosa, and Clupeonella) become more important in the diet as the grey older. Also molluscs, Polychaeta and other invertebrates.
    Sexual maturity is reached by males at an age of five or six years. Females mature with an average age of 9.7 years and rarely spawn more than three times in their lives. Enters rivers from April to June with a peak period when the water temperature reaches 10º to 15ºC. Eggs laid on beds of scattered stones, pebbles, gravel and sand. The juveniles stay near the mouth of rivers. Its population is supported by artificial propagation.  Spawn from May to September at a water temperature of 12º to 29ºC. 
    Maximum length of 218 cm (TL) and a maximum weight of 54 kg. They usually range from 100 to 120 cm and 6 to 8 kg.
    Interest to Fisheries
    Commercial. Fish catch limited.
    Local Names
    ALBANIA : Bli turigjate .
    AUSTRIA : Sternhausen .
    BULGARIA : Pastruga .
    FINLAND : Tähtissampi .
    FRANCE : Esturgeon étoilé .
    GERMANY : Sternhausen .
    HUNGARY : Söregtok .
    ITALY : Storione stellato .
    POLAND : Siewruga .
    PORTUGAL : Esturjao-estrelado .
    ROMANIA : Pastruga .
    RUSSIAN FED. : Sevryuga .
    SLOVENIA : Jeseter hviezdnaty .
    SPAIN : Esturión estrellado .
    SWEDEN : Stjärnstör .
    TURKEY : Mersin baligi .
    UKRAINE : Sevrjuga .
    UNITED KINGDOM : Starry sturgeon .
    USA : Star sturgeon ,  Sevruga .
    See Acipenser gueldenstaedtii. The starry sturgeon interbreed in its natural habits with Acipenser nudiventris, A. ruthenus and A. gueldenstaedtii.
    Banarescu, P. - 1964. Pisces-Osteichthyes. Fauna Republicii Populare Romine. 13. .  Ed: Academiei Republicii Populare Romine, Bucaresti.
    Bauchot, M.-L - 1987. Poissons osseux 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. .  p. 891-1421..
    Berg, L.S - 1962. Freshwater fishes of the U.S.S.R. and adjacent countries. Israel Program for Scientific Translations Ltd, Jerusalem. Volume 1, 4th edition. .  Russian version published 1948.
    Birstein, V.J. & W.J. Bemis - 1997. How many species are there within the genus Acipenser? Environ. Biol. Fish. .  48: 157-163..
    Hilton-Taylor, C. - 2000. 2000 IUCN red list of threatened species. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and ambridge, UK. .  xviii + 61 p.. with 1 CD-ROM.
    Kottelat, M. - 1997. European freshwater fishes. Biologia. .  52, Suppl. 5:1-271..
    Reshetnikov, Y.S, N.G. Bogutskaya, E.D. Vasil'eva, E.A. Dorofeeva, A.M. Naseka, O.A. Popova, K.A. Savvaitova, V.G. Sideleva & L.I. Sokolov - 1997. An annotated check-list of the freshwater fishes of Russia. J. Ichthyol. .  37(9): 687-736..
    Rochard, E., Castelnaud, G. & M. Lepage - 1990. Sturgeons (Pisces:Acipenseridae); threats and prospects. J. Fish Biol. .  37 (A): 123-132..
    Shubina, T.M., A.A. Popova & V.P. Vasilev - 1989. Acipenser stellatus Pallas,1771. In The Freshwater Fishes of Europe, Vol.1, Part II: General Introduction to Fishes. Acipenseriformes. .  394-442.. (Ed. J. Holcík) AULA-Verlag Wiesbaden.
    Svetovidov, A.N. - 1964. Handbook of the fauna of the USSR, fishes of the Black Sea. Izdatel'stvo Nauka .  550 p.. Moscow
    Svetovidov, A.N. - 1984. Acipenseridae In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. vol. 1. .  :220-225..
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