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Author: Lovetzky, 1828

Acipenser nudiventris Lovetzky, 1828

Diagnosis: snout moderately long and pointed at tip. Lower lip continuous, not interrupted at centre; barbels fringed, halfway between tip of snout and mouth, reaching the latter. Gillrakers 24-42. Dorsal finrays 45-57; anal finrays 23-37. Five rows of scutes, dorsal 11-17, lateral (49) 52-72, but usually 55-56 on each side, ventral (10)12-16, with no smaller plates between dorsal and ventral rows. Colour: back grey, flanks lighter, belly white. Size: to 200 cm or more.

Habitat: on bottom over mud, near shore at 30-60 m; solitary because rare; little studied in Black Sea. Food: mainly molluscs, also amphipods and chironomid larvae (Sea of Azov).

Reproduction: enters rivers from March to May and in October/November, spawning from end of April to June (end of May in Rioni River, Black Sea).

Distribution: Black Sea, formerly recorded off Caucasian, Crimean and Bulgarian coasts, and in Sea of Azov, entering Danube, Don, Kuban and Rioni rivers, but now in danger of extinction. Elsewhere, Caspian and Aral Seas, where it is more common.

Complementary iconography. Antipa, 1909, fig. 90a-b | Berg et al., 1949, pl. 11 (col.) Elanidze et al., 1970, fig. 3 (col.).

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Antipa, 1909, fig. 91a-b.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Fringebarbel sturgeon (Acipenser nudiventris)