Psephurus gladius (Martens, 1862)
Chinese paddlefish
Psephurus gladius
photo by CAFS

Family:  Polyodontidae (Paddlefishes)
Max. size:  300 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 300 kg
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish; marine, anadromous
Distribution:  Asia: China, endemic to the Yangtze River and its tributaries.
Diagnosis:  Head very long, snout extraordinarily long, pointed and paddle-like and base broad; mouth very large.
Biology:  This species is considered anadromous for it spends at least part of its life in the sea and migrates upriver to reproduce. It occurs in broad surfaced main streams of large rivers, usually staying in the middle and lower layers of the water column and occasionally swims into large lakes. Spawning period is in March and April with spawning sites located in the upper reaches of the Changjiang River but was also reported to take place in the lower Jinsha River between Shuifu and Yibin (Ref. 117880). It grows to 3 m in length and 300 kg in weight (Ref. 28581). Reported length of 7 m SL (Ref. 6866) and 500 kg weight (Ref. 4537, 58490) are doubtful (Paxton, pers. comm.). Piscivorous throughout most of its life. Threatened due to over harvesting and habitat loss (Ref. 58490). Expected number of mature individuals in the wild, less than 50, but more extensive surveys are needed across its range to confirm its existence; last seen in 2003 (Ref. 117880).
IUCN Red List Status: Critically Endangered (CR); Date assessed: 24 October 2009 (A2cd; C2a(i); D) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 06.07.91
Modified by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 26.04.18
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 26.04.18

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