The sterlet (Acipenser rutheneus) is the commonest sturgeon, spending all its life in freshwater. They are extremely interesting family of primitive fish and are quite distinct from all the other living bony fish.
Appearance: They are relatively small in size compared to their Beluga cousin that can reach 1220kg in weight and 4.24m in length. The body is elongated with no scales but has a characteristic row of bony plates that runs along the sides of the body. They are usually a sandy brown to dark olive in colouration. The tail is upturned and asymmetric in shape and the head is long and pointed with an upturned snout and four sensitive barbels.
Typical weight: 6lb
Lateral Line: 55-70 bony plates which run along the sides of the body.
Lifespan: Up to 100 years
A non-native to the UK and popular with aquarists and pond fish-keepers. Possible introductions to the wild have come about from well-intentioned aquarists and pond-keepers where fish have grown too large for their tank or pond.
Last date edited: 26 November 2015