Acipenser medirostris Ayres, 1854
Green sturgeon
photo by Gotshall, D.W.

Family:  Acipenseridae (Sturgeons), subfamily: Acipenserinae
Max. size:  270 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 159 kg; max. reported age: 60 years
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 0 - 80 m, anadromous
Distribution:  North America: Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska to Ensenada, Mexico. Considered vulnerable in Canada. The Asian population is now considered to be a separate species Acipenser mikadoi (Ref. 6866). International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.4.98; CMS Appendix II).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 33-35; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 22-28. Characterized by a single row of 1 to 4 bony plates along the midventral line between the anus and the anal fin, and about 33 to 35 rays in the dorsal fin. Dorsal arises at posterior third of the total length; anal fin arises under posterior part of dorsal; pectorals originate low on the body just behind gill opening and are large and rounded; pelvic fins arise near the anus. Generally olive to dark green, lower parts more or less whitish green; a longitudinal olive-green stripe on side between lateral and ventrolateral plates, another on midventral surface; fins grayish to pale green (Ref. 27547). Barbels usually situated closer to mouth than to snout tip; coloration of scutes along side paler than skin (Ref. 86798).
Biology:  Found in estuaries, lower reaches of large rivers, and in salt or brackish water off river mouths (Ref. 5723). Probably spawns in fresh water (Ref. 27547). May cover considerable distances in the ocean (Ref. 27547). Edible but with a disagreeable taste and unpleasant odor (Ref. 1998).
IUCN Red List Status: Near Threatened (NT); Date assessed: 31 January 2006 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Froese, Rainer - 01.05.91
Modified by: Sicnawa, Fayte - 10.07.19
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 15.12.95

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 Not for publication.

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