Chondrostei (sturgeons) > Acipenseriformes
(Sturgeons and paddlefishes) > Acipenseridae
(Sturgeons) > Scaphirhynchinae
Etymology: Scaphirhynchus: Greek, skaphe, -eos = boat + Greek, rhyngchos = snout (Ref. 45335); platorynchus: From the words platy, meaning broad and rynchus, meaning snout (Ref. 10294).
More on author: Rafinesque.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Temperate; 10°C - 20°C (Ref. 2060); 50°N - 30°N
North America: USA in Mississippi River basin from west Pennsylvania to Montana and south to Louisiana; Mobile Bay drainage, Alabama and Mississippi; upper Rio Grande, New Mexico. Considered endangered (Ref. 6866). International trade restricted (CITES II, since 1.4.98).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 54.7, range 45 - ? cm
Max length : 108 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 86798); common length : 72.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 4.9 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 43 years (Ref. 50937)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Bases of outer barbels in line with or ahead of inner barbels (Ref. 86798).
Occurs in the bottom of main channels and embayments of large turbid rivers; frequently in flowing water over sand and mixed with gravel and mud. Feeds primarily on larvae of aquatic insects (especially burrowing mayflies, caddis larvae and midge larvae (Ref. 10294)), worms, and crustaceans (Ref. 50937). Spawning occurs from April to June in large rivers in areas of swift current and coarse substrates (Ref. 10294).
Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott, 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (20):183 p. (Ref. 3814)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.6250 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00407 (0.00152 - 0.01095), b=3.16 (2.93 - 3.39), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.3 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tm=5; tmax=37-43; K=0.13).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (69 of 100).