Stellate Sturgeon

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stellate Sturgeon


(Acipenser stellatus), an anadro-mous fish of the family Acipenseridae. The body reaches a length of 220 cm and a weight of 68 kg. The stellate sturgeon is covered with five rows of bony scutes; on the fish’s sides there are star-shaped plates between the scutes. The snout, unlike that of other sturgeons, is extremely elongated and flat. The barbels are short.

The stellate sturgeon lives in the basins of the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, and the Sea of Azov. The fish forms local runs. Spawning occurs in rivers from April through September. In large rivers the fish travels 200-600 km from the mouth, and in small mountain rivers 30–60 km. Between 20,000 and 363,000 roe are deposited on gravelly ground; the roe stick to the rocks. The fry descend into the Caspian Sea from the Volga at two to three months of age and from the Kura immediately after hatching. The adult individual makes lengthy migrations for food. In summer it remains in shallow water, and in autumn and winter it stays at depths to 100 m. The stellate sturgeon feeds on invertebrates and fish. Sexual maturity is attained at different times in different bodies of water. Males reach maturity at five to 13 years of age, and females at ten to 17 years.

The stellate sturgeon has great commercial value. The flesh and roe are a delicacy. The notochord is used to make dried spinal chord, and the swim bladder is used in glue production. Supplies of the fish are maintained through artificial breeding. Hybrids of stellate sturgeon with sturgeon, sterlet, and ship sturgeon (Acipenser nudiventris) are known.


Berg, L. S. Ryby presnykh vod SSSR i sopredel’nykh stran, 4th ed., part 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Nikol’skii, G. V. Chastnaia ikhtiologiia, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The starry sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus, (Pallas 1771), limited to the Black, Azov and Caspian Seas, is one of the most important sturgeon species.
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Pectoral fin sections of the starry sturgeon are suitable for aging since they are easily collected, processed and have legible, precisely interpretable growth zone (Brennan & Cailliet 1989; Stevenson and Secor 2000).
A total of 69 specimens of the starry sturgeon, Acipenser stellatus, were obtained from Iranian coastal waters of the Caspian Sea between October 2008 and June 2010 (Fig.
The length and weight of the starry sturgeon estimated in this study were compared with the mean length and weight obtained from a previous study (Taghavi Motlagh 1996) in the south Caspian Sea, using the Student s one sample t-test (Zar 1996).
Shabany et al (2003) revealed that there is only one population of the starry sturgeon in Iranian coastal waters of the Caspian Sea and therefore data from different locations in the south Caspian Sea were pooled in this study.
Starry sturgeon females had a higher fork length and body weight (Table I) compared to males.
Descriptive length and weight composition of the male and female starry sturgeon from Iranian waters of the Caspian Sea in 2008-2010.
Males and females had dissimilar age-frequency distributions in Iranian coastal waters of the Caspian Sea ([x.sup.2]=36.63, df 14, P>0.001) The Iranian coastal waters of the Caspian Sea starry sturgeon had a higher proportion of females in the 18 and 19 year classes as compared to the males.
Growth trajectories were significantly different between the sexes for the starry sturgeon (F=3.79, df 3, 67 P > 0.05).
For the starry sturgeon in Iranian coastal waters of the Caspian Sea, the mortality rates (Z) for females and for males were calculated as 0.79 and 1.08 per year and the annual mortality (A) as 55% and 66% respectively.