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Author: Brandt, 1833

Acipenser gueldenstaedti Brandt, 1833

Diagnosis: snout short, less than 60% of head, broad and rounded at tip. Lower lip not continuous, interrupted at centre; barbels not fringed, nearer to tip of snout than to mouth and not touching it. Gillrakers 16-31 (36). Dorsal finrays 27-48; anal finrays 16-35. Five rows of scutes, dorsal 7-19, lateral 24-44 on each side, ventral 6-13 on each side, with lines of smaller stellate bony plates between the dorsal and ventral rows. Colour: back olivaceous grey, flanks lighter, belly white. Size: to 211 cm, usually 110-140 cm.

Habitat: on bottom, mainly near shore, over sand and mud; usually solitary, but swarms when hibernating or during spawning migrations; less abundant than A. stellatus. Food: molluscs, crustaceans, small fishes (anchovies, sprats, gobies). Reproduction: enters rivers from April to June (a few in autumn), spawning from May to June; natural spawning not extensive, maintained chiefly by artificial propagation.

Distribution: Black Sea, Sea of Azov, entering all main rivers (Don, Kuban, Danube, Dnieper (rare), Dniester). Elsewhere, Caspian Sea.

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Antipa, 1909, fig. 109a-c | Alyavdina, 1951: 44, fig. 6, 11 | Zaryanova, 1954: 296, fig. 1-11 | Vladimirov, 1955: 24, fig. 9-12.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Subspecies: only A. gueldenstaedti colchicus v. Marti in Clofnam area; A. g. gueldenstaedti Brandt and A. g. persicus Borodin in Caspian, where much more abundant.

Acipenser gueldenstaedti colchicus Marti

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Antipa, 1909, fig. 109a-c | Alyavdina, 1951: 44, fig. 6, 11 | Zaryanova, 1954: 296, fig. 1-11 | Vladimirov, 1955: 24, fig. 9-12.
Otoliths (sagitta). No data.

Danube sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedti)