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Scaphirhynchus platorynchus  (Rafinesque, 1820)

Shovelnose sturgeon
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Native range | All suitable habitat
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Scaphirhynchus platorynchus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Scaphirhynchus platorynchus (Shovelnose sturgeon)
Scaphirhynchus platorynchus
Picture by Moreau, J.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > 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).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243).   Temperate; 10°C - 20°C (Ref. 2060); 50°N - 30°N

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

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)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Bases of outer barbels in line with or ahead of inner barbels (Ref. 86798).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

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).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

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. Pub. (20):183 p. (Ref. 3814)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A3d+4ac)

CITES (Ref. 108899)

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(fisheries: species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.6250   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.5   ±0.3 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (tm=5; tmax=37-43; K=0.13).
Prior r = 0.31, 2 SD range = 0.13 - 0.77, log(r) = -1.17, SD log(r) = 0.45, Based on: 1 K, 2 tgen, 1 tmax, 4 Fec records
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (61 of 100) .