Starry sturgeon

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Starry sturgeon
Acipenser stellatus.jpg
Acipenser stellatus
CITES Appendix II (CITES)[2]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Acipenseriformes
Family: Acipenseridae
Genus: Acipenser
A. stellatus
Binomial name
Acipenser stellatus
Pallas 1771
Starry sturgeon Acipenser stellatus distribution map.png
Starry sturgeon range.[3]
  • Acipenser seurugus Güldenstädt 1772 [Bonnaterre 1788]
  • Acipenser helops Pallas 1814
  • Ellops helops (Pallas 1814)
  • Acipenser rostratus Brandt & Ratzeburg 1833 [Heckel 1836]
  • Acipenser ratzeburgii Brandt 1833
  • Acipenser stellatus donensis Lovetsky 1834
  • Acipenser stellatus illyricus Brusina 1902
  • Acipenser stellatus danubialis Brusina 1902
  • Gladostomus stellatus (Pallas 1771)
  • Helops stellatus (Pallas 1771)
  • Acipenser stellatus stellatus n. cyrensis Berg 1932
  • Acipenser stellatus ponticus Movchan 1970

The starry sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus) also known as stellate sturgeon or sevruga (Drakul, Persian: اوزون برون, and Turkish: Uzun Burun, lit.'long nosed'), is a species of sturgeon. It is native to the Black, Azov, Caspian and Aegean sea basins, but it has been extirpated from the last and it is predicted that the remaining natural population will follow soon due to overfishing.[1]

The starry sturgeon is an anadromous species, which migrates up rivers to spawn.[6]

It is considered critically endangered by the IUCN and international trade in this species (including its caviar) is restricted by CITES.[1]


The starry sturgeon reaches about 220 cm (7.2 ft) in length and weighs up to 80 kg (180 lb).[6] It is a slim-bodied fish easily distinguished from other sturgeons by its long, thin and straight snout. A row of five small barbels lies closer to the mouth than to the tip of the snout. The scales on the lateral line number between thirty and forty and these features distinguish this fish from the Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii). Its general colouring is dark greyish-green or brown with a pale underside. The scales on the lateral line are pale.[7] The maximum reported age for this species is 27 years.[6]


The starry sturgeon is a harmless species that feeds on fish, worms, crustaceans and mollusks.[6] It lies on the bottom during the day and feeds mostly at night. This fish is anadromous and moves upriver into shallow waters to spawn.[7]


Starry sturgeon in a bazaar in Odesa, Ukraine

The starry sturgeon is an important commercial species of fish. It is one of the three most important species for caviar, see Sevruga caviar, along with the Beluga sturgeon and the Ossetra sturgeon. Its flesh is considered an expensive delicacy in the Caspian region. It is used to make kabaabs, or is consumed pan fried, broiled, or smoked. There have been several attempts in Russia, Iran, Italy, and the United States to adapt this species for aquaculture, with varying degrees of success.[citation needed]

The resilience of this species is low. The minimum population doubling time is 4.5 – 14 years.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Qiwei, W. (2010). "Acipenser stellatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2010: e.T229A13040387. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-1.RLTS.T229A13040387.en. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Appendices | CITES". Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. ^ 2010. Acipenser stellatus. In: IUCN 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. Downloaded on 18 July 2015.
  4. ^ Froese, R.; Pauly, D. (2017). "Acipenseridae". FishBase version (02/2017). Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Acipenseridae" (PDF). Deeplyfish- fishes of the world. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2013). "Acipenser stellatus" in FishBase. February 2013 version.
  7. ^ a b "Stellate sturgeon: Acipenser stellatus (Pallas)". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-25.

External links[edit]